Expanding trade will create more American jobs and boost economic growth, but to realize these benefits Congress must pass Trade Promotion Authority legislation (TPA). That was the message in a recent op-ed penned by Caterpillar Chairman and CEO and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Board Chair Doug Oberhelman.
As NAM Board Chair, Oberhelman knows that manufacturers need TPA to open new overseas markets and level the playing field:
Ninety-six percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States. In fact, in the last five years, Caterpillar has exported more than $82 billion in products manufactured at our factories in the United States, supporting tens of thousands of jobs. Creating opportunities for American companies to reach these consumers through new and expanded free-trade agreements can help to get our economy back on track and keep our nation globally competitive (OP-ED: Expanded trade creates more American jobs and economic growth, By Doug Oberhelman, McClatchy Newspapers).
Oberhelman has led the charge to achieve renewed TPA, most recently presiding over the passage of a rare resolution by the NAM Board of Directors which calls on the Administration and Congress to renew this important authority so that the United States can open markets and pursue the type of robust trade policies and agreements that will help grow manufacturing.
Trade supports jobs and drives growth in every state, including Caterpillar’s home state of Illinois. Since TPA was last renewed in 2002, Illinois’s annual manufactured goods exports have more than doubled to $63 billion. The 20 countries with which the United States has negotiated trade agreements under TPA purchased more than 55 percent of Illinois’s manufactured goods exports in 2012. For more information, visit www.nam.org/TPA.
As leaders in Congress prepare to introduce TPA legislation in the New Year, manufacturers will intensify our efforts with the Administration, Capitol Hill and elected officials across the country to make passage of TPA a priority so that America can lead on trade around the world.