Speak up for the Trans-Pacific Partnership
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and members of his congressional delegation have urged AmCham Singapore member companies to deliver the message to their Congressional representatives and American voters that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is important for American jobs and economic growth—and to do it now.
TPP negotiations are approaching the endgame. As negotiators focus on wrapping up, the White House and the Hill are buckling down on what they need to do to secure Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and subsequent congressional approval of the TPP.
The President put TPA and the TPP squarely on the agenda in his State of the Union Address in January. In response, Chairman Ryan told MSNBC, “I agree with every word he [President Obama] said in the speech with respect to trade and Asia and getting in there and helping write the rules instead of China writing the rules. The president is in the middle of negotiating a trade agreement with Asian nations, representing 40 percent of global GDP. This means more jobs for America. This means more exports for us.”
Lead U.S. negotiator Michael Froman testified to the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Committee on Finance that “the Administration is committed to securing bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority. America has always been strongest when it speaks with one voice, and that’s exactly what Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA, helps us do.” In his statement to the Senate hearing, Committee Chairman Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) stated, “the time for TPA is now.”
AmCham members should seize the moment to explain to their Senators and Representatives why the TPP’s success matters.
This was Chairman Ryan’s advice to AmCham members on February 16 during his delegation’s visit to Singapore. In his words, “the stakes are high — because how we act today will set the rules of the global economy for years. Right now, other countries are rewriting those rules without us, and we’re falling behind. For instance, in the first ten years of this century, the countries of East Asia completed 48 trade agreements. The U.S., on the other hand, negotiated just two in that region. Not surprisingly, our exporters’ share of East Asia’s imports fell by 42 percent. On the other hand, if these trade talks are successful, they could bring huge benefits to the U.S. economy. For instance, the two biggest agreements currently in the works — the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership — would give our exporters greater access to 1 billion customers and two-thirds of global GDP. The fact is, if we don’t write the rules of the global economy, other countries will.”
Chairman Ryan and his delegation made Singapore the first stop on their three-country journey to advance the U.S. trade agenda. With members from the Ways and Means and Foreign Affairs Committees, Chairman Ryan’s delegation included three co-chairs of the congressional Friends of the TPP Caucus — Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Representative Dave Reichert (R-WA), and Representative Charles Boustany (R-LA) — as well as Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and Representative Adrian Smith (R-NE). The delegation also visited Malaysia and Japan.
After the visit, Chairman Ryan thanked AmCham for hosting the delegation and reiterated both the importance of the TPP and the U.S.-Singapore bilateral relationship.