Global Chamber® hosted Luis Jimenez of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative at our headquarters in SkySong to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Despite plenty of discussion on all sides, the consensus of experts is that TPP will help Arizona companies and create more jobs.
Founded in 1962, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is the United States government agency responsible for developing and recommending U.S. trade policy to the President of the United States, conducting trade negotiations at bilateral and multilateral levels, and coordinating trade policy within the government.
The U.S. is one of 12 countries that TPP covers. Signed in February, 2016, TPP has been six years in the making. Malaysia has already signed the agreement. Mr. Jimenez mentioned that all of the countries are on a path to approve it. The U.S. situation is a little cloudier because of the anti-trade rhetoric that has been infused into the process. That makes it more important for everyone involved with U.S. companies doing trade to inform their local government leaders about how important TPP is to improve their business.
Some of the key facts about TPP:
- Reduces to zero 18,000 different taxes on Made-in-America exports,
- Includes the strongest worker protections of any trade agreement in history,
- Includes the strongest environmental protections of any trade agreement in history,
- Promotes E-commerce, protects digital freedom, and preserves an open Internet,
- Levels the playing field for U.S. workers by disciplining state-owned enterprises (SOEs),
- Prioritizes good governance and fighting corruption,
- Supports both merchandise and services exports, and
- Helps small businesses benefit from global trade.
We were particularly impressed about the elimination of tariffs on all manufactured goods exported from the U.S. In addition, now the U.S. will be well positioned in agriculture where there have been tariffs — like finally allowing the “sacred 5” (beef, pork, rice, dairy and wheat) to penetrate the Japanese consumer market.
All business leaders serious about exporting should advise their representative to vote “yes” on TPP.
Doug Bruhnke is CEO/Founder at Global Chamber®