It is in the national interest and imperative for the President, Congress and private sector to work together on economic initiatives that support stronger U.S. economic growth, create more economic opportunity and well-paying jobs for Americans and boost the competitiveness of U.S. companies and workers. To promote these goals, we need to move forward forcefully with a pro-growth economic agenda that includes a range of domestic initiatives and a proactive and constructive U.S. trade agenda.
International trade provides a variety of benefits for U.S. businesses, workers and families. Trade supports more than 36 million American jobs as well as higher paying jobs for American workers. For example, blue-collar workers in export-intensive manufacturing companies earn a 19 percent wage premium compared to the average manufacturing salary. Trade also lowers raw material and input costs, which lowers prices and increases choices for American companies and families. More than 95 percent of the world’s population and 80 percent of the world’s purchasing power is outside the United States, which is why international trade benefits American companies by opening foreign markets to U.S. exports.
A proactive and constructive U.S. trade agenda should include supporting the rules-based international trading system (including the World Trade Organization) and U.S. trade agreements that have shaped it, modernizing existing agreements where appropriate, negotiating new high-standard agreements and strongly enforcing U.S. trade laws and agreements. Such an agenda should broadly aim to expand U.S. trade and investment opportunities – exports and imports of goods and services – and address unfair foreign trade and investment practices and unfair imports, not narrowly focus on U.S. trade deficits.