For Manufacturers, Trade Must Be Open and Fair

A highly interconnected global economy is a fact for manufacturers big and small throughout the United States. Advances in technology and transportation over recent decades have created substantial new opportunities for manufacturers in the United States to reach millions of foreign consumers. That interconnection has also brought increased competition from growing manufacturing sectors around the world, in some cases fueled by market-distorting and discriminatory trade practices that put our manufacturers, workers and communities at an unfair disadvantage.

When markets are open and rules of fairness and equal opportunity are enforced for all, manufacturers in the United States can and do succeed. Consider the following:

  • More than half of the U.S. manufacturing workforce depends on exports for their jobs, and nearly half of all U.S.-manufactured goods exports are sold just to the 20 countries that have eliminated barriers through free trade agreements.
  • Employees in the “most trade-intensive industries” earn an average compensation of nearly $94,000, or more than 56 percent more than those in manufacturing companies that were less engaged in trade.

With the world’s most productive manufacturing sector in the world, but a domestic market that represents only 10 percent of global consumption and growing global competition, manufacturers in the United States need more robust trade policies and agreements to grow. To be part of the solution, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has shared with the Trump transition team our Competing to Win” agenda, which includes a blueprint for a winning trade policy.

The NAM is calling on the new administration to focus on three key elements to ensure an open and fair trading system:

  1. Strong enforcement of global trade rules to crack down on cheating.
  2. Negotiation of new bilateral and other trade agreements to expand market access, raise standards, ensure fairness and equal opportunity and eliminate foreign market-distorting practices.
  3. Adoption of customs, financing, export control and other policies to make manufacturers in the United States more globally competitive.

Manufacturers are committed to working domestically and internationally to tap growth beyond our borders and eliminate foreign trade abuses to continue to expand a highly productive and innovative U.S. manufacturing sector that can continue to sustain and increase good-paying American jobs.

 

This blog is part of the NAM’s 12 Days of Transition” series, an effort to provide the presidential transition team and other Washington policymakers with a roadmap to bolster manufacturing in the United States. Read the other blogs in the series here.

Linda Dempsey

Linda Dempsey

Linda Dempsey is the vice president of international economic affairs at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). In this capacity, Ms. Dempsey leads the NAM’s efforts to improve the global competitiveness of manufacturers in the United States by advocating intellectual property protection, increased export financing and the elimination of trade barriers as well as pushing for agreements and treaties to open up new export markets to create jobs. Ms. Dempsey is noted for her experience on a wide range of international trade and investment policy issues.
Linda Dempsey

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