Jun 05, 2015 - 9:00am

90 American Chambers Abroad Urge Congress: Renew TPA


Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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Containers are loaded onto automated guided vehicles at Long Beach Container Terminal in Middle Harbor
Containers are loaded at the Port of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Photo Credit: Tim Rue/Bloomberg

For more than a century, U.S. companies doing business overseas have organized American Chambers of Commerce (AmCham) abroad to advance their views and interests, to uphold the highest standards of commercial practice, and to interpret the point of view of other countries to the American business public.

The U.S. executives who form and support AmChams are unofficial ambassadors whose operations drive U.S. exports and mutually beneficial commerce that supports millions of American jobs. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is proud to count these AmChams as members of our worldwide federation.

In three letters today, 90 AmChams urged Congress to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), sending a message to the House of Representatives that the eyes of the world are on Washington as this vote nears. As the Wall Street Journal recently editorialized, this is “a watershed about the kind of country America wants to be. Does the U.S. still have the right stuff to compete with and lead the world, or will it retreat behind barriers that provide the illusion of economic and political security?”

Following are excerpts from the letters, which were organized by their regional umbrella groups:

“TPA is an important tool for promoting economic growth and job creation through expanded trade. It is critical to US competitiveness, to US global leadership, and to our members… The global economy is expected to grow by $36 trillion over the next five years, and half of that growth will be in Asia. Yet America currently is losing its competitive edge in Asia. Excluding China, East Asia in 2014 purchased a smaller share of US exports in 2014 than it did five years earlier, despite a 54% increase in total US merchandise exports in that period. This is a troubling trend and we need Congress to swiftly pass TPA and TPP so that America can recapture its market share in this vital region.” —Asia Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC)

 

“The U.S. network of trade agreements in the Americas offers a ringing endorsement of the value of both TPA and the agreements it makes possible. These agreements extend from the Canadian arctic to Chilean Patagonia, and they have turbocharged the growth in U.S. commerce with the other nations of the Americas over the past 25 years. These trade agreement partners purchased 87% of U.S. exports to Western Hemisphere nations last year; worldwide, the 20 U.S. trade agreement partners purchased nearly half of all U.S. exports. Millions of U.S. jobs depend on this mutually beneficial flow of commerce.” —Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America (AACCLA)

 

“As representatives of U.S. companies doing business in Europe, we see the key role of TPA. While foreign governments may initiate negotiations with the United States without TPA in place, they have proven reluctant to make the difficult political choices associated with the final stages of negotiations in its absence. In this sense, TPA will help U.S. negotiators secure agreements of the highest quality and greatest commercial value, including in the case of TTIP.” —European Council of American Chambers of Commerce (ECACC)

 

About the Author

About the Author

Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of International Affairs the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, drives the global business strategy of the organization.