Earlier today, the NAM sent a letter to the Senate expressing NAM policy positions on the budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 8 ) and its associated amendments. In particular, manufacturers support amendments offered by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) to renew trade promotion authority (TPA) and enable the United States to negotiate and implement trade agreements that eliminate barriers to greater market access overseas. TPA, which used to be called fast-track authority, would allow Congress to accept or reject – but not amend – trade deals the Administration negotiates with other countries. Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis, in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee on March 19, said the Administration was looking forward to working with Congress on TPA. The United States is currently engaged in negotiation on a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and will be launching Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations with the European Union later this year.
The NAM also supports amendments offered by Senator Hatch to maintain a strong U.S. Trade Representative office and to strengthen U.S. government efforts promoting innovation and protecting intellectual property rights worldwide.
The NAM opposes S.Amdt.374 offered by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) to defund the Export-Import Bank. Ex-Im Bank authorized more than $35 billion in financing in FY 2012, supporting more than 255,000 American jobs. The Bank worked with more than 3,400 U.S. companies, 85 percent of which were small businesses. Ex-Im is a vital tool in leveling the global playing field, helping manufacturers to offset the financing support our foreign competitors receive from their governments, and in securing new customers in emerging markets. As the “lender of last resort,” Ex-Im has experienced unprecedented demand in the past few years while banks have been hesitant or unable to extend competitive terms on some transactions. The Ex-Im Bank also generates enough fees to offset its costs, contributing the remaining surplus to the U.S. Treasury to help to offset the budget deficit. The 2012 Annual Report outlines the Bank’s accomplishments last year.