Aiming to demonstrate broad support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership across a wide range of industries, the heads of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Information Technology Industry Council, Coalition of Services Industries and National Association of Manufacturers today sent a letter calling on congressional leadership to “work together expeditiously” in order to pass the deal “no later than the end of this year.”
Addressed to President Obama as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the letter counters the anti-free trade rhetoric that has characterized the presidential election campaigns of both major parties and outlines various ways in which the trade deal would benefit each sector, arguing that access to new markets is necessary for their industries to continue to grow.
As the most productive industries in the world, our enterprises need access to new consumers and markets to sustain, let alone grow, production and good-paying jobs. Yet, U.S. industries face increasing competition as our global competitors are benefitting from trade deals that exclude and disadvantage the United States. This disadvantage is particularly severe in the Asia Pacific region where the United States has been losing market share in those TPP nations with which the United States has not negotiated trade agreements, but others, such as China and Mexico, already have such agreements. The status quo is not acceptable for industries that need new markets to sustain and grow our workforces in the United States.
The letter states that: “Action on the TPP is critical to reverse the loss of new customers in the fastest growing region in the world.” It then asserts that when implemented the TPP would: 1) level the playing field by eliminating or reducing trade barriers that impede the ability of U.S. exporters to expand their sales in key markets; 2) Set in place important rules and rails TPP country standards that will enhance U.S. competitiveness and eliminate unfair foreign government distortions; 3) Incorporate new rules to address e-commerce and data issues that are critical to small and large firms alike while adding new measures to combat corruption and distortions caused by state-owned enterprises; and 4) Establish strong enforcement and dispute settlement procedures.
It concludes by warning lawmakers that failure to act on the TPP, “will only keep the United States at a competitive disadvantage globally, to the detriment of America’s farm, manufacturing, services and technology sectors and the American workers that depend on jobs in each of these sectors.”