Earlier this week at her State of the State address, Gov. Jan Brewer announced her plan to make Arizona a better place for manufacturers to operate and conduct business in the state. Manufacturers help to drive Arizona’s economy, with $15.1 billion in manufactured goods exported in 2012. Of those, $7.7 billion was with our free trade agreement (FTA) partners. This helps create jobs in the state. In 2009, 25.6 percent of Arizona’s employment stemmed from exports.
While the governor and Legislature are doing what they can at the state level, a crucial piece to our manufacturers’ success lies with trade agreements negotiated at the federal level. We need trade agreements in place in order to open up new markets abroad and increase competition and consumer choice here at home. A key component of our ability to negotiate these new deals is Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which gives Congress the ability to approve or disapprove – but not amend – trade agreements.
Trade Promotion Authority is important to the American economy as it levels the playing field, increases competition and opens up access to foreign markets. The U.S. is the world’s largest economy and the largest exporter and importer of goods and services. The U.S. has free trade agreements with 20 countries, which make up 50 percent of all U.S. manufactured exports. TPA gives U.S. negotiators the opportunity to get the best trade agreement possible with oversight from Congress.
When overseas markets are open, businesses and employees benefit. One of five jobs in the U.S. today are supported by trade. As the U.S. negotiates the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership, the need for TPA is critical.