Employers voice support for Trade Promotion Authority

A national coalition of major employers endorses Congressional passage of Trade Promotion Authority. The coalition, which includes the Washington Roundtable, urges swift action.

Business organizations from nine states, representing thousands of America’s leading employers, today announced a coordinated campaign to support passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation. The Senate passed the TPA legislation last month and now the House is poised to act. The legislation would authorize the President to negotiate new international trade agreements designed to benefit American business and workers.

Participating organizations include the California Business Roundtable, the Colorado Business Roundtable, Iowa Business Council, the Minnesota Business Partnership, the New England Council, the Oregon Business Council, the Pennsylvania Business Council and the Washington Roundtable. Together, the members of these organizations employ tens of millions Americans.

In the Olympian today, an op-ed by Michael Schutzler, CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association, and Dean Garfield, CEO of the DC-based Information  Technology Industry Council, point out the trade bill’s significance for our state.

Some governments overseas have even implemented laws and regulations that force U.S. companies to exclusively develop products within that country’s borders in order to sell products and services there. Others are creating new rules for software and digital products entering their countries to restrict America’s ability to compete.

Onerous foreign rules and regulations are a direct attack on the 8,500 technology companies and 250,000 employees who work in Washington. We need Congress to take swift action and set rules for trade agreements with foreign countries that ensure U.S. workers and companies are able to compete on equal terms with foreign counterparts.

In our research report, we highlighted Washington’s unique stake in global commerce.

Washington’s economy is highly dependent on global trade. The state ranks second in the nation in exports per capita. According to the Washington Council on International Trade, 40 percent of the jobs in the state are related to trade in some way. Given its many trade advantages, the state is well-positioned to continue to be a leader in international trade for years to come.

As international competition intensifies, maintaining our leadership also depends on Congressional passage of  the TPA.