Tag: 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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Strong Intellectual Property Protections in the TPP Have Everything to Do with Good-Paying American Jobs

Ideas, brands and inventions are the competitive advantage of the more than 265,000 manufacturers large and small across the United States and the more than 12 million women and men they employ in today’s challenging global marketplace.

Protecting those assets at home and abroad is critical for every sector of manufacturing – and particularly for the biopharmaceutical industry, which contributes some $426 billion to the U.S. economy every year and delivers life-saving and life-changing new therapies for patients suffering from cancer, diabetes and other diseases and disorders. (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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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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Manufacturers to Congress: Act Now to Pass Trade Promotion Authority

Manufacturers applaud President Obama’s call for swift action on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in tonight’s State of the Union address.

Quickly renewing this proven partnership between Congress and the Executive branch is essential to ensure America continues to lead to negotiating new trade agreements that eliminate barriers and open overseas markets for manufacturers and workers. (continue reading…)

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U.S. Scores WTO Victory Against Discriminatory Argentine Import Restrictions; Manufacturers Look for Quick Redress

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body issued a decision on January 15 finding Argentina’s import restrictions on U.S. and other imported goods breached the international trade rules that Argentina had adopted in joining the WTO.

Since 2012, Argentina had, through its Declaración Jurada Anticipada de Importación or “DJAI,” and other measures, imposed limits on imports and other trade restrictive measures that have limited the ability of U.S. manufacturers to export and participate successfully in the Argentine market. These measures are estimated to affect billions of dollars of U.S. exports each year. (continue reading…)

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NAM Partners with Global Business Dialogue to Promote Environmental Goods Agreement

This morning the NAM and the Global Business Dialogue hosted a discussion about the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) negotiations underway at the World Trade Organization (WTO). NAM’s Linda Dempsey, Vice President for International Economic Affairs, spoke about the benefits to manufacturing of a broad EGA, mentioning that, “increased trade and global engagement is vital for our manufacturers. With only a 9 percent share of the global $11 trillion market in manufactured goods trade outside our borders, manufacturers can and should be able to expand commercial opportunities.

(continue reading…)

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Protecting Innovation and Creativity in India; A First Step to Stronger Bilateral Trade and Investment Ties

This week, senior officials from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) are visiting India to continue discussions on various bilateral trade issues, including intellectual property (IP) rights. The talks are a precursor to a long-awaited India-US Trade Policy Forum scheduled to take place later in the year. They are a welcome opportunity to consider how both nations can benefit from stronger IP protection and enforcement.

India’s recent actions to block a WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement that could have added an estimated $1 trillion to the global economy raised serious concerns about Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to opening India’s market and incentivizing overseas investment. India’s actions dealt a particular blow to poor countries, which would have benefitted disproportionately from a trade facilitation deal. According to the OECD, full implementation would have reduced international transaction costs for low and lower middle income countries by up to 15 percent.

However, there’s still time for India’s new government to break from the protectionist policies of the past. The fact that dialogue between India and the United States is even taking place is a step in the right direction. And few steps would have a greater impact on promoting economic growth and jobs in India and repairing a damaged bilateral trade and investment relationship than reforming India’s patent regime and strengthening IP protection and enforcement.

India’s economic present and future depend on technology and creative industries. The Indian Software Product Industry Roundtable believes the country has the potential to build a US$ 100 billion software product industry by 2025. Bollywood is already the world’s largest film industry, and gross receipts have almost tripled since 2004. Yet by almost any measure, India’s climate for IP protection and enforcement consistently ranks among the very worst in the world.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, India’s IP environment ranks dead last among 25 industrialized and emerging economies measured against 30 factors that are indicative of IP regimes that foster growth and development. The country’s long track record of rampant copyright piracy and repeated steps to deny, revoke and compulsory license patents on innovative medicines have earned it a place on USTR’s Special 301 Priority Watch List for a record 26 straight years.

If Prime Minister Modi really wants India to be “open for business,” as he stated repeatedly on the campaign trail, then his government must put in place measures to protect new ideas and technologies – including bringing patent rules in line with global norms, reforming copyright laws to better protect creative industries and safeguarding confidential business information.

Implementing measures that strengthen IP protection and enforcement in India would be a welcome first step to improving trade relations with the US and would signal to the world that India is serious about becoming a global economic leader for years to come.

Manufacturers in the United States expect USTR to make a clear case for reform and real results leading to a more mutually beneficial trade and investment partnership this week. We hope India will listen.

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India’s Protectionism and Africa’s Economic Opportunities

Over 40 African heads of state and government are in Washington this week to discuss ways we can work together to promote economic growth and development in Africa.

But what if working together to open markets and reduce barriers in developing countries turns out to be the best way to promote growth in Africa? With industrialized countries in North America, Europe and elsewhere now largely open to African products, the continent’s greatest chance to drive future export growth may come from reducing high barriers in major developing country markets like India.

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit aims to promote economic growth and development by fostering stronger trade and investment ties. The United States has and can contribute much to that goal. Through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), it has eliminated tariffs on substantially all African exports. Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies, and manufacturers in the United States are eager to invest and strengthen economic partnerships across the continent.

Yet overall, some 70 percent of tariffs developing country exporters face are applied by other developing countries, and the protectionist challenge is even greater in particular regions of the world. According to the World Bank, tariffs imposed by India and other South Asian countries on imports from developing countries are frequently five times as high as the rates imposed by industrial countries.

Reducing those tariffs is critical, the Bank says, because nearly 90 percent of the stimulus to developing country exports following past tariff cuts has come from liberalization by other developing countries.

Sadly for Africa, India and others in a position to lead in lowering barriers and contributing to growth and economic development are moving in the opposite direction. A Global Trade Alert study found G20 economies collectively imposed 692 protectionist measures between 2008 and 2010, and India and other emerging markets were among the biggest sinners. Many of those measures harmed the commercial interests of least developed countries – 70 percent of which are in Africa.

Just last week, India single-handedly thwarted a WTO deal that would have drastically cut the cost of moving goods across borders in Africa and around the world. According to the Peterson Institute of International Economics, a successful trade facilitation agreement would have added $1 trillion to the global economy.

Developing countries stood to gain the most. An OECD study found full implementation would have reduced international transaction costs for low and lower middle income countries in Africa and elsewhere by up to 15 percent.

Unfortunately, India seems bent on pursuing policies that are standing in the way of African exports and African development. This week, African countries and the United States have an opportunity to make common cause and to look at ways to work together to reduce trade barriers in India and other emerging markets.

With so much to gain from cooperation, we can’t afford to miss this chance.

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