This week, the Obama Administration released its annual Trade Policy Agenda that highlighted the importance of trade and investment in promoting economic growth in the United States. This year’s report focused substantial attention on the Administration’s efforts to “open markets for U.S. exports and ensure a level playing field for U.S. producers and workers to compete,” including through seeking new Trade Promotion Authority legislation and negotiating substantial market-opening agreements in the Asia Pacific and with Europe that have the potential to eliminate major barriers to U.S. exports and set in place strong standards of key issues from intellectual property to investment and transparency. Manufacturers’ welcome these initiatives and are working with the Administration to secure successful outcomes that will grow manufacturers’ opportunities around the globe.
Missing from this extensive report on 2014 priorities and 2013 activities, however, is any focus on a growing area of American export strength – the export of our energy resources including coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG). America’s energy renaissance has changed the equation for manufacturers big and small, providing greater access to our nation’s manufacturers to affordable energy supplies. America’s abundance of energy resources is also an important export opportunity – but for the fact that the United States is putting its own restrictions on energy exports through slow approval and permitting processes that are limiting U.S. exports of LNG and coal. Those restrictions are out of line with America’s economic interests and, as detailed in a recent NAM-commissioned report by former WTO Appellate Body Chairman James Bacchus, out of line with the United States’ own international obligations in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
From the Constitutional ban on export taxes to the President’s 2014 Trade Policy Agenda, the value of exports to America is clear. Exports of energy and other goods support American jobs and economic growth. In the case of energy, exports also play a vital role in promoting broader global goals. Manufacturers continue to urge the Administration to stand up for exports – all exports including those from our energy sector – to advance America’s economic and broader interests.
Manufacturers are pleased to see legislation introduced this Congress that would expedite processing of our LNG exports. Such legislation would put America’s actions in line with its international obligations and advance America’s exports and economic interests.
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