To grow and thrive in today’s economy, manufacturers in Texas are increasingly looking overseas to boost sales opportunities to sustain and grow their U.S. activities. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is important to that growth strategy because it will strengthen manufacturers in the United States and level the playing field with 11 Asia-Pacific countries that boast over 490 million consumers. Read More
There’s lots of news from the first day of the convention, but manufacturers are more concerned with a major omission by the Republican Party: a statement supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). That’s one line worth repeating. Read More
The National Association of Manufacturers has been providing a lot of #TruthontheTrail this election season. It’s time for some more truth to weigh new government information.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) just released a congressionally mandated report on the impact of U.S. trade agreements on the U.S. economy. Contrary to statements by some presidential and other candidates, it finds that:
- Bilateral and regional trade agreements negotiated by the United States have increased GDP, employment, wages, trade and exports; and
- Such U.S. bilateral and regional trade agreements have “had a positive effect, on average, on U.S. bilateral merchandise trade balances with the partner countries, increasing trade surpluses.”
But like its past reports, the ITC misses the mark in many major ways, underreporting the impact of trade agreements on manufacturers in the United States:
- U.S. Manufacturing Has Doubled Since NAFTA. Most prominently, the ITC report ignores the massive growth in U.S. manufacturing output. Since NAFTA, both U.S. manufacturing output and U.S.-manufactured goods exports have doubled. Indeed, manufacturers in the United States are producing more than ever before. The recognition of the growth of manufacturing overall is important, particularly when a large portion of that output is exported to trade agreement partners. Indeed, U.S. free trade agreement partners purchase 13 times more from the United States than the rest of the world and have been an important source of U.S. manufacturing growth.
- Non-Tariff Benefits of Trade Agreements Have Broad Impacts. The ITC’s economic analysis simply cannot and does not capture the vast importance of trade agreements to the U.S. manufacturing economy. When discussing non-tariff issues, such as intellectual property (IP) protections in U.S. trade agreements, for example, the ITC notes the increase in IP receipts. It fails to include, however, any discussion of the importance of these provisions to supporting high-paying manufacturing jobs. There are similarly limited analyses of other provisions, such as investment rules that help many manufacturers reach foreign consumers while supporting good-paying American jobs.
- The World Is Moving Forward Without Us. The ITC’s analysis is also U.S. focused, ignoring the growth in world trade, hundreds of millions of new entrants into the global middle class and foreign trade agreements that exclude and disadvantage the United States. While the United States has 14 trade agreements with 20 countries in operation, the World Trade Organization reports that there are now more than 270 bilateral and regional agreements that provide improved access and better rules for those countries that are participating. The vast majority of these agreements exclude the United States and disadvantage manufacturers in the United States.
Manufacturers in the United States now produce more than ever before and support more than 18 million American jobs. As the most productive manufacturing sector globally, manufacturers in the United States need new foreign markets to sustain, let alone grow, current employment levels. Trade agreements, along with competitiveness and trade enforcement tools, are critical to improved U.S. access to foreign markets and the continued growth of manufacturing in the United States.
Yesterday’s vote by 52 percent of the United Kingdom to exit from the European Union—the so-called British exit (Brexit)—has sent shockwaves across global financial markets and plunged manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic into a long period of uncertainty. While there are no direct immediate consequences for the day-to-day operations of businesses in the United Kingdom, European Union or the United States, all businesses engaged in the transatlantic market need to start preparing for the changes that will in fact come. Read More
National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement on the disappointing Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report, which showed the slowest monthly jobs gain since September 2010:
“The latest jobs report is pathetic. It is a vivid example of why we need the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) now. The report is a wakeup call for anyone who thinks we are on solid economic ground. Policymakers in Washington can’t fix every problem, but they can certainly take action to give manufacturing—and the larger economy—a boost. The TPP will allow manufacturers to sell products we make here in the United States to millions of new customers overseas, and we will hire people to make those products. Congress and the Obama administration need to work together to get this deal done.
“Manufacturers, and almost all employers for that matter, are holding back on hiring because they lack confidence in the ability of Congress and the administration to put aside partisan differences to do what is in the best interest of America’s future. In May, we also saw too few Americans go back to work—and too many give up and leave the workforce altogether because they have given up on the American Dream.
“Pro-growth trade policy, coupled with comprehensive tax reform, regulatory reform and other items on manufacturers’ agenda will empower our country to compete and win in the global economy—creating jobs and providing inspiration for those who clearly need it.
“The presidential candidates and all candidates for the House and Senate need to explain exactly what they will do to enact these commonsense economic measures outlined in ‘Competing to Win.’ Getting this agenda accomplished is the only way to reverse the malaise we are experiencing in our country and put us on the road to success again.”
Read the original press release here.
Manufacturers need their products sold to more markets, so we can grow more jobs in America. They need their inventions and innovations protected. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will protect and sell American-made goods—and that’s why manufacturers support swift approval of this critical trade agreement. To send that message to Congress, today the NAM and U.S. Coalition for TPP issued the following letters to congressional delegations from 10 states, urging support for TPP. Letters will be distributed to the remaining 40 state delegations in the coming months. Click on the state below to view the letter:
- California (180 signatories)
- Florida (118)
- Georgia (119)
- Illinois (230)
- New York (107)
- Oregon (102)
- South Carolina (111)
- Texas (132)
- Virginia (105)
- Washington (106)
Learn more about the importance of TPP to manufacturers in the United States by clicking here.
However you analyze yesterday’s report released by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the fact remains: the global economy requires American leadership and know-how to make it easier to create jobs at home and open up markets abroad. Whether it’s electronics manufacturer Texas Instruments, with multiple facilities employing thousands all over the United States and selling its innovative technologies worldwide, or it’s Wisconsin-based Darley with 127 employees, selling fire trucks to more than 100 countries, including China, Australia, Peru, New Zealand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, Nigeria and Brazil, we need free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) so that manufacturers of all sizes can continue to compete and win.
Manufacturers need their products sold to more markets, so we can grow more jobs in America. They need their inventions and innovations protected. The TPP will protect and sell American-made goods—and that’s why manufacturers support swift approval of this critical trade agreement. Read More
Trade continues to be a key topic in the campaigns of both major parties. Unfortunately, the most oft-repeated claims are flat-out wrong and portend a dangerous path of retreat from the strong trade approach that has long been a powerful positive force for American workers, consumers and families. With World Trade Week officially under way, let’s look again at how trade drives the U.S. economy, raises standards of living for American families and grows manufacturing in the United States by dispelling some of the top trade myths.
- Free Trade Agreements. If candidates want to take aim at free trade agreements (FTAs), why not go after the hundreds of trade agreements being negotiated without the United States that exclude and disadvantage manufacturers in the United States? U.S. exporters face higher tariffs and barriers than most of the world’s exporters in other countries (ranking 130 out of 132) because the United States has too few, not too many, trade agreements. FTAs are huge market boosters for manufacturing in the United States because they promote fair trade by leveling the playing field. That’s why moving forward on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is so important to manufacturers in the United States.
- NAFTA. The criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an enduring but deeply flawed myth. The United States implemented NAFTA in 1994 and then experienced four years of economic growth and the creation of more than 800,000 manufacturing jobs. The recession in the late 1990s had a negative effect on the U.S. economy and jobs, but if anything, NAFTA helped the United States endure that downturn more successfully and has been critical to sustaining and growing the U.S. manufacturing sector, which then faced even stronger challenges from Asian emerging economies.
- China. It is easy for candidates to go after China as a major villain in the trade stories they like to tell. China is not easy, but it is not a one-sided picture. Yes, China has grown its manufacturing industry heavily over the past 20 years and is now the largest foreign supplier of manufactured goods to the United States. To reach this level, China engaged in a number of unfair trade practices, government subsidization and discriminatory policies. No debate there. At the same time, China also became the third-largest market for U.S.-manufactured goods, from the seventh-largest purchaser in 2002, the year after China joined the World Trade Organization, with U.S. exports growing more than 350 percent to $89 billion. There’s a long way to go in creating a fairer and more reciprocal U.S.–China commercial relationship, but it’s a lot more complicated than the campaign promise of putting on new border taxes on Chinese imports, which we all know would be contrary to U.S. international commitments and would likely result in even stronger retaliation against U.S. exports to China. And just a reminder, the TPP does NOT include China.
- Trade Deficits. When we buy more imports than sell exports, that’s considered a trade deficit, which is used by candidates as a negative report card on U.S. trade. However, our economy is much more complicated than simple subtraction. Oftentimes, when the U.S. trade deficit is rising, the U.S. unemployment rate is declining and U.S. manufacturing production is growing. Also, the critics conveniently ignore when we do have a surplus, such as the fact that our country sells more manufactured goods overall to our FTA partners than we purchase from them. U.S. manufacturing output and exports have quadrupled over the past quarter century. Trade, boosted by trade agreements, is helping to fuel our economy.
Trade and manufacturing go hand in hand. The United States manufactures more today than we have in our entire history. Trade and trade agreements have opened the door to new global opportunities for manufacturers big and small throughout America, helping to sustain and grow jobs for millions of Americans. Let’s continue to make sure manufacturers and America can continue to grow.
As the debate over trade continues, NAM Senior Vice President of Communications Erin Streeter sat down with NAM Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Policy Aric Newhouse and Texas Instruments Vice President of Government Relations Paula Collins to discuss what is at stake for manufacturers and their employees in this latest Shopfloor Podcast.
International trade is more than facts and figures—it’s a critical component of a manufacturer’s story. For Texas Instruments, and companies like it, international trade impacts every aspect of their business. Collins said,
80% of the purchasing power is outside the United States…Just about every employee that works at [Texas Instruments] is engaged in international trade one way or the other…because what we are producing, we are exporting. And there are just myriads of opportunities out there.
Learn more about the changing dynamics of trade and what it means for manufacturers to stay competitive in the global marketplace by clicking here.
While much of the attention of World Trade Month is focused on the growth that manufacturers can achieve with a strong market-opening trade agenda, that agenda only works if it is backed by strong enforcement. Trade enforcement applies not only to the trade agreements negotiated that eliminate foreign barriers but also to the trade rules that seek to ensure trade that is free from unfair government distortions. Read More