Trade

Purported TPP Investment Text Confirms Pro-Rule of Law and Transparent Processes, but Raises Questions about Some TPP Countries’ Commitment to Fairness and the Rule of Law

Last night, WikiLeaks put out what it claims is the draft of the investment text being negotiated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

For manufacturers in the United States, many of whom use foreign investment to spur U.S. exports and make overseas sales, the text looks familiar because it is substantially based on the highly detailed U.S. model investment negotiating text that has been publicly available on both the websites of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Department of States since the Obama Administration completed its multi-year review of the investment text in April 2012. That review, which was public and sought input from stakeholders throughout the United States, resulted in a strong investment negotiating document that seeks a more level playing field for our nation’s manufacturers and other job-creators in this country. (continue reading…)

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NAM Urges Repeal of WTO-Inconsistent Labeling Rules

Linda Dempsey, vice president for international economic affairs with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), testified today at a House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture hearing entitled, “Implications of Potential Retaliatory Measures Taken against the United States in response to Meat Labeling Requirements.”

At the hearing, Dempsey underscored that the United States’ continued failure to bring its Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) rules for muscle cuts of meat into compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations is threatening U.S. manufactured goods exports to Canada and Mexico. The NAM is co-chair of the COOL Reform Coalition, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. (continue reading…)

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Expanding America’s Global Opportunities – Hannover Messe 2016

This evening, business leaders and policymakers will attend the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) naming the United States as the Hannover Messe partner country for 2016. Hannover Messe is the world’s largest industrial trade fair, held annually in Hanover, Germany. (continue reading…)

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Korea Trade Agreement Boosts Exports, Provides Mechanisms to Address Challenges

Manufacturers cheered when the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) entered into force three years ago yesterday. The deal aimed to open Asia’s fourth largest economy to U.S. exports of industrial goods and a wide array of other products and services. It established strong transparency rules, competition policy and intellectual property and other protections that sought to establish a level playing field.

While the KORUS FTA is still being implemented and challenges remain, manufacturers are seeing important gains. Roughly 80 percent of Korean tariffs on U.S. products have already been eliminated, helping to drive strong sales of plastics, processed foods, semiconductor equipment and many other manufactured products. Overall, U.S. manufactured good exports to South Korea increased $2.6 billion between 2012 and 2014, reaching a record high of $37.4 billion last year. (continue reading…)

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Global Manufacturing Economic Update – March 13, 2015

Here is the summary for this month’s Global Manufacturing Economic Update: 

Manufacturers are facing some significant headwinds from sluggish growth abroad and from a U.S. dollar that has strengthened sharply over the past few months. According to the Federal Reserve Board, the trade-weighted U.S. dollar index against major currencies has risen from 75.6968 on July 1 to 91.5660 on March 6, a 21.0 percent increase. Along those lines, the euro has fallen to its lowest levels since January 2003. It peaked in 2014 on May 6 at $1.3924 for each euro. On March 12, it closed at $1.0640 to the euro, with some expectations that it will move to parity soon. It last reached parity in November 2002. Overall, these developments could hurt the ability of manufacturers in the United States to grow exports. (Some recent comments from me in the media on this topic can be found in the Financial Times, The New York Times and The Washington Post.) (continue reading…)

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Noem, Manufacturing Leaders Talk Trade in South Dakota

From makers of lifesaving medical devices and heavy-duty farm equipment to trains, planes and automobiles, manufacturers in the United States continue to find new customers by trading with the 95% of the world’s consumers who live outside our borders.

Today, South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem, representatives from Daktronics, Falcon Plastics, 3M, the Schwan Food Company and other local businesses gathered in Brookings, South Dakota to talk trade and the importance of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and new trade agreements to level the playing field abroad for American manufacturers and their employees. (continue reading…)

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More, More More: Why “Yes” Is Never Enough for the Anti-Trade Caucus

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, new trade agreements were broadly supported.

Actually, that was right here in our own galaxy if you can believe it.

From 1934 to 1962, major business groups and unions testified regularly on Capitol Hill in support of the “reciprocal trade agreements program” that President Franklin Roosevelt had started to negotiate tariff-cutting agreements with foreign countries following the disastrous Smoot-Hawley tariff increase of 1930. FDR was regularly provided by Congress, tariff-cutting authority to negotiate those deals, which is the predecessor to the modern Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). (continue reading…)

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Long Term Reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank is Critical for Manufacturers

Today, manufacturers and small businesses from across the country were in our nation’s capital to fight for a critical component of our national economic policy: the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im). More than 650 individuals paid their own way to come to Washington, D.C. to educate and inform our leaders in Congress about the role the Ex-Im Bank plays in ensuring American manufacturers can compete overseas on a level playing field.

(continue reading…)

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Facts Matter – Critics Need to Stop Distorting the Facts on America’s Manufacturing Trade Surplus

Enough is enough. We’re all for an honest debate, but a small group of trade critics are putting out some whoppers in an effort to derail the momentum behind Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a longstanding procedural partnership between Congress and the Administration that enables the United States to conclude and implement new Free Trade Agreements (FTA) that open markets for our manufacturers.

Groups like Public Citizen, however, are promoting distorted information about our country’s manufacturing trade surplus with its 20 FTA partners. (continue reading…)

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U.S. Trade Deficit Increased in December to its Highest Level of 2014

The Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau said that the U.S. trade deficit rose to its highest level of 2014, up from $39.75 billion in November to $46.56 billion in December. The trade deficit averaged $42.09 billion per month in 2014, an increase from the $39.70 billion average of 2013. Goods exports were higher in the second half of 2014 ($137.51 billion each month on average) than in the first half ($135.01 billion), which was positive; however, goods imports also increased (up from an average of $196.59 billion to $198.73 billion). (continue reading…)

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