Situation

With a Republican majority in the House and Senate in the 114th Congress, the opportunity arose to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) – legislation that would enable the president to pursue international free trade agreements.

Anti-free trade groups, however, waged an aggressive campaign to prevent the fairly procedural legislation from passing. Opposition groups explicitly tied campaign contributions to how Democratic members of Congress voted on the bill, and some conservative groups characterized the bill as a concession of authority to the president.

HPS was retained to:

  • Coordinate a nationwide campaign to pass TPA

Our Approach

HPS provided strategic management, communications, and advocacy support for the Coalition to pass TPA. In this role, HPS:

  • Managed and strategically directed Coalition activity
  • Provided real-time intelligence to direct activity by Coalition members in specific states and districts
  • Developed and distributed research, talking points, and data
  • Ran media engagement and rapid response by engaging with reporters on a proactive basis
  • Elevated local voices across multiple platforms, using opinion pieces, advertising, earned media, and grassroots to tell the story of how trade benefits businesses and communities

Impact

TPA passed with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, despite significant opposition from influential members of both parties.

  • After an aggressive six-month campaign that included more than 250,000 direct contacts with members of Congress or their staffs, nearly 200 opinion pieces in regional and national markets, and approximately $2 million in advertising, the Coalition successfully passed TPA.

  NYTimes- Trade Authority Bill Wins Final Approval In Senate

  WSJ- Trade Bill Clears Senate, Moves To White House

  USA Today- Congress Renews ‘Fast Track’ Trade Authority