Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader McConnell, Leader Pelosi and Leader Reid:
On behalf of the Business Roundtable, I write urging passage of bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation as soon as possible to advance the current ambitious U.S. trade agenda.
For decades, trade and U.S. trade agreements have promoted U.S. growth and jobs. Trade-related U.S. jobs grew three and a half times faster than total U.S. employment from 2004 to 2013, with trade now supporting nearly 40 million U.S. jobs. Trade agreements break down foreign barriers and set strong, enforceable trade rules, helping U.S. companies, farmers and workers sell more goods and services. In fact, nearly half of all U.S. goods exports now go to the United States’ 20 free trade agreement partner countries.
To continue leading in today’s global marketplace, the United States must be successful at the negotiating table. Passage of TPA will help ensure that U.S. trade negotiators get the best possible outcomes for American companies, farmers and workers and will reassure our trading partners that Congress and the Administration are committed to reaching strong trade agreements. It also ensures Congress plays a key role in the trade negotiations by laying out clear negotiating objectives and consultation requirements for the Administration.
We urge you, other members of Congress, and the President to partner to enact TPA as soon as possible. This is critical to helping complete high-quality agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the Trade in Services Agreement, and an agreement to eliminate tariffs on environmental goods.
Business Roundtable looks forward to continuing to work with you, your colleagues, and the Administration to advance these significant opportunities to promote American growth and jobs and show U.S. global leadership.
Chairman and CEO, Cummins Inc.
Chair, International Engagement Committee, Business Roundtable
C: Senator Orrin Hatch
Senator Ron Wyden
Representative Paul Ryan
Representative Sandy Levin