Fresh from Beijing where he attended the APEC summit and while in Washington earlier this week to participate in Foreign Policy Group’s annual “Transformational Trends” conference, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman sat down with Politico Magazine senior writer Michael Grunwald to discuss prospects for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Obama administration’s international trade agenda in the coming months.
The conversation spanned a wide range of trade-related topics and provides considerable insight about how the administration sees the two ambitious trade agreements currently being negotiated – with 28 states of the European Union (TTIP) and 11 other countries of the Asia-Pacific region (TPP) – as pivotal components to unlocking greater opportunity in the economy.
When asked about how free trade will possibly help create good-paying American jobs in the future when, due to automation, high-tech manufacturing increasingly seems to need fewer workers, the top U.S. trade official said that in coming years America will be the “production platform of choice” – a contention based not only on “unfettered access to more than two-thirds of the global economy” that would be afforded by TTP and TTIP, but also because of other innate competitive advantages such as the size of the U.S. domestic market, the country’s entrepreneurial culture, strong rule of law, and now abundant sources of affordable energy.
“We’re seeing tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars of investment going into everything from chemical production, auto production, any number of other areas by both domestic and foreign investors who want to make things in the U.S. to serve both the U.S. market but also to export all over the world based on this unfettered access these trade agreements will give,” Froman said.
Click here to read the complete interview.