Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

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Made in Maine

June 14, 2012

Kim Glas is the deputy assistant secretary for textiles and apparel within the International Trade Administration’s Import Administration division.

The International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration, Paul Piquadoand I last week toured New Balance and Auburn Manufacturing, Inc. (AMI), two Maine companies that are producing high quality, Made in USA products.

Assistant Secretary of the Import Administration Paul Piquado and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Textiles and Apparel Kim Glas in front of New Balance footwear factory in Skowhegan, Maine with workers and management following tour.

Assistant Secretary of the Import Administration Paul Piquado and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Textiles and Apparel Kim Glas in front of New Balance footwear factory in Skowhegan, Maine with workers and management following tour.

At New Balance in Skowhegan, the tour showcased New Balance’s American-made and designed footwear manufacturing. The Skowhegan facility is one of five New Balance footwear plants located in New England, collectively employ roughly 2,700 workers. The company is the only firm that currently manufactures athletic footwear in the United States.

At AMI in Mechanic Falls, we toured the company’s state-of-the art facility that produces fire- and heat-resistant textiles. AMI is a small, woman-owned business employing 50 people in the Lewiston-Auburn area. AMI produces textiles that protect people and processes from extreme heat and flames. AMI also manufactures end-use products including a patented, modular insulation kit, and a line of first-ever hot work safety blankets that are third-party certified. For over 30 years, the company has been producing advanced products that meet stringent U.S. military and safety standards. Its reputation as an industry leader is a direct result of an ongoing commitment to investing in innovation and technology.

After the tours of the New Balance and Auburn Manufacturing facilities, Assistant Secretary Piquado and I had the opportunity to have a discussion with company employees and management, to hear their viewpoints regarding U.S. manufacturing, the challenges they face and the successes they have achieved.  One focus of the Obama Administration is strengthening the economy by growing U.S. exports and export-supported jobs.  Hearing directly from the workers at these two facilities helps us to better understand the challenges facing U.S. companies to achieving this goal.

As locals know, the importance of exports to Maine’s economy is significant. Over one-sixth of all manufacturing workers in the state depend on exports. That is why this trip was so rewarding.

One of the main objectives of our office – and ITA as a whole – is to promote the competitiveness of textiles, apparel, and footwear in the domestic and international markets, in support of U.S. industry and jobs. Both New Balance and Auburn are accomplishing this as they export their products worldwide – and our office is committed to helping similar Made in the USA brands have similar success.

Please visit the Office of Textiles and Apparel website for more information about the services and information we offer.

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3-2-1…..JOBS!

June 4, 2012

Kim Wells is a senior international trade specialist with 19 years of experience supporting commercial space exports.

By now, you’ve heard the news—for the first time ever, a commercial company has launched to and berthed with the International Space Station!  On May 22, SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule from Cape Canaveral, Florida to resupply the Station.  After three days of very precise maneuvers, the Dragon capsule then berthed with the Station and the astronauts, representing Russia, Europe, and the United States, opened the hatch door to welcome a new world of commercial space ventures.

View from the International Space Station of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft as the station’s robotic arm moves Dragon into place for attachment to the station. May 25, 2012. Photo: NASA

View from the International Space Station of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft as the station’s robotic arm moves Dragon into place for attachment to the station. May 25, 2012. Photo: NASA

Until now, this type of exploration activity in space had only been attempted by very few governments and no private companies.  But space exploration isn’t cheap, and with the retirement of the Space Shuttle, NASA sought a more cost-effective way to re-supply cargo to the Station.  The result was NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, in which SpaceX and Orbital Sciences were selected to develop the ability to delivery cargo—and potentially, crew—to the International Space Station so that NASA could begin to focus its efforts on more challenging exploration ventures—like returning to the Moon or traveling to Mars.  On top of that, using commercial services for resupply is projected to save NASA up to $4 billion.  In just four and a half years, and only $300 million dollars, the all-American Falcon 9 rocket went from a blank sheet to first launch.  Hopefully, this successful launch and docking will be just the first of many, many commercial trips that support the international exploration of space.

The International Space Station has always been a collaborative venture.  Japan, Russia, Europe and many others contributed to its construction and continue to support its operation. But never before has the private sector been involved.  Until now.

This opportunity was also a big change for SpaceX.  Founded in 2002 by PayPal entrepreneur Elon Musk, SpaceX has privately built the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets from the ground up in its Hawthorne, California facility.  SpaceX employs over 1,800 people in high-tech jobs primarily in California, Texas and Florida, but also supports over 1,700 suppliers nationwide.  In fact, each Falcon 9 rocket launch supports over 750 jobs—220 at SpaceX and another 530 indirect positions!

The mainstay of any commercial rocket business is launching satellites.  We use satellites each day –whether we know it or not.  Rockets like the Falcon 9 have launched everything from communications satellites (so you can call your friends), GPS satellites (so you can find out where to go meet them), remote sensing/imaging satellites (so you can have an accurate map and picture of where you’re going), and broadcast satellites (so you can watch TV once you arrive).  In 2011, there were 18 commercial satellites launches around the world, which generated approximately $1.9 billion in revenue from the launches alone.  Most of those satellites were built in the United States, supporting thousands more high-tech jobs in suppliers across the country.

In addition to U.S. manufacturing, thousands of more jobs are created in the satellite services sector.  The commercial space sector provides jobs, and spurs innovation, exploration, international cooperation and partnerships.

While supplying the Space Station via commercial transportation is good business, its high-profile mission is also great advertising for the more traditional business line of launching satellites for customers–foreign and domestic.  The International Trade Administration works to support this type of advancement, not just at SpaceX, but for all U.S. companies.  SpaceX and other commercial space companies have worked closely with offices in the Commercial Service and Manufacturing and Services to identify foreign opportunities and address policy concerns that could impede their competitiveness.

This effort is a historic accomplishment for NASA, SpaceX, and the American space program, borne out of the ingenuity, hard work and determination to restore America’s domestic access to the International Space Station.  As a nation, we should be proud of this example of American innovation and technological achievement, the economic benefit that it provides to U.S. citizens and overarching rewards that are shared by people around the globe as we explore space together.

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Asia Pacific Business Outlook: Twenty Five Years and Many More Opportunities

March 27, 2012

This story is part of an ongoing series highlighting the information available to participants in the 2012 Asia Pacific Business Outlook (APBO)

Francisco Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade

This is my second year keynoting the 25-year old USC Marshall School’s Asia Pacific Business Outlook (APBO) Conference. It was great to see the diversity of participants, from representatives of businesses across the United States, as well as non-profit organizations, chambers of commerce, and trade associations from both the United States and countries in Asia and Latin America.

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez speaks during the APBO Conference

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez speaks during the APBO Conference (Photo USC Marshall School of Business)

It seems as though it’s also a reunion and convergence of sorts of 16 Senior Commercial Officers (SCOs) from Asia and local Commercial Service trade specialists. For the first time, we have the SCOs from Brazil and Russia joining the conference, contributing their insider knowledge and providing market briefings in one-on-one counseling sessions.

During my address yesterday, I was able to outline our ongoing priorities here at the International Trade Administration and across the Obama Administration as well as provide updates on some major accomplishments achieved in the past few years.

This month marks the two-year anniversary of the President’s National Export Initiative and good things are happening. Last year, U.S. exports surpassed $2 trillion for the first time in history. They supported nearly 10 million jobs, an increase of more than a million when compared to 2009 numbers. So the formula is pretty clear: exports benefit jobs, businesses and the national economy. That’s why we’ve got to continue to increase U.S. exports.

One of the areas with the greatest potential for this work is the Asia-Pacific region. It represents 55 percent of global GDP and accounts for 44 percent of world trade. And all of us at the Commerce Department are committed to keeping the U.S.- Asia-Pacific partnership growing — both through our words and our work.

Last year, I led the largest-ever higher-education mission to Indonesia and Vietnam. I visited Hong Kong and China last fall. And, earlier this month I was in Japan and Vietnam a second time to advance commercial relations. Our work in this region is a priority for us. And good things are happening.

U.S. goods exports to the broader Asia-Pacific totaled nearly $900 billion in 2011, a 15 percent increase from 2010. This is equal to 60 percent of total U.S. goods exports to the world. This partnership is generating benefits for all sides. This means jobs and growth for the American economy. In turn, U.S. products and services are helping to fuel the economic development in the Asia Pacific.

These have been win-win partnerships. Now, we’re focused on producing even more wins. To do this, the Administration is working from the policy level to the community level. For instance, one win came recently when the U.S.- Korea Trade Agreement took effect.

Before, in a variety of sectors, U.S. companies had to pay a tariff rate to sell their goods and services in Korea. Now, many of these same companies can enter the market duty-free. Almost 80 percent of American exports of industrial products to Korea will enter without getting taxed. Estimates are that this will lead to roughly $11 billion in additional U.S. exports. It will also provide new opportunities in the 12th largest economy in the world. That’s a big win.

Another win involves the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As many of you know, it’s an ambitious, high-standard trade agreement for doing business in the Asia-Pacific. It seeks to address new and emerging trade issues and 21st-century challenges. Working with our colleagues at the Office of the United States Trade Representative — we are addressing traditional trade issues involving goods and services;  rules on intellectual property; and technical barriers to trade. And we are making progress. A TPP framework was agreed to in Honolulu at the APEC Leaders’ meeting in November. It was a landmark accomplishment. The agreement identified five central features that nations around the world are already viewing as a new standard for trade agreements.

The Commercial Officers from across Asia, Russia and Brazil as well as the domestic trade specialist stand ready to help U.S. businesses explore the possibilities that are out there. There were some great conversations today.
This is a chance to achieve common goals, such as creating more markets and customers for U.S. businesses, which can lead to more sales, which will boost U.S. exports, which supports jobs and strengthens the American economy. These are big goals that will make a big impact.

And I look forward to working with all of you in the years ahead to achieve these goals.

So let’s get the conversation started.

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Jobs Supported by Exports Surge by 1.2 million

March 14, 2012

Martin Johnson and Chris Rasmussen are Senior Economists in the Office of Industry Analysis within the International Trade Administration

For the first time in U.S. history annual exports of goods and services crossed the $2 trillion threshold exceeding $2.1 trillion in 2011.  This increase in exports builds on the strong growth in 2010, and in 2011 exports of U.S. goods and services were up over 33 percent from 2009. This growth in exports corresponded with growth in jobs supported by U.S. exports.

We estimate that in 2011 jobs supported by exports increased to 9.7 million in 2011, up 1.2 million since 2009. While the total value of U.S. exports set an all time record in 2011, jobs supported by exports in 2011 were just shy of the 2008 peak of 9.8 million.  In 2011, every billion dollars of U.S. exports supported 5,080 jobs.

Traditionally we think of export oriented jobs as those engaged in making and transporting goods, like at ports, rail, trucks, and manufacturing facilities, as well as at customs brokers and freight forwarders.

However, jobs all along the supply chain of both manufacturing and service industries are captured in this estimate. That means that all of the people who make and install parts that eventually end up in large equipment or small electronics sold abroad are included in this estimate.

In addition, people who are involved in exporting services, such as legal and financial services and travel and tourism are also included.

While your company may not export directly, if you sell products or services to one that does, you are part of this overall export equation.

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Creating Jobs: “Plane” and Simple

February 7, 2012

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Kim Wells is a senior international trade specialist in the Office of Aerospace, with 19 years’ experience supporting aerospace exports.

Most people think of planes as a way of connecting people with destinations.  In the International Trade Administration (ITA), we know that just one plane connects thousands of workers here at home.

As with most exports of large, high-tech products, the export of one aircraft (or ship, or large piece of machinery) is the result of a huge supply chain that touches people and communities across the United States.

For example, in November 2011, Emirates Airlines signed an agreement to purchase 50 new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with options for 20 more, totaling $26 billion at list prices.  Each 777 will be equipped with two American-made GE90 engines. Though the names on the plane may be “Boeing” and “GE”, the truth is that each aircraft is a finely integrated system of nearly four million parts from more than 11,000 suppliers specializing in everything from lighting to advanced avionics and seatback trays to landing gear. As a result, this single sale will support over 100,000 U.S. jobs in more than a dozen states.

These jobs are the kind of jobs the United States is seeking—high technology, high wage, and high skilled.  And with each of these jobs, thousands of other indirect jobs are created that support the work and lives of these employees.  In fact, the aerospace and defense industry employed over 818,000 people in the United States in 2009 and supported an additional 1.8 million U.S. jobs in related fields.

The U.S. aerospace industry has the highest trade surplus of any U.S. manufacturing industry and supports more jobs through exports than any other manufacturing industry.  At ITA, we know that U.S. firms—whether they make large planes or business jets, helicopters or aircraft engines—can produce products at home that will beat the competition overseas as long as they compete on a level playing field.  That’s why aerospace is an important export industry that will help achieve the goals of President Obama’s National Export InitiativeITA’s Aerospace Team is working hard to identify and create new export opportunities, break down barriers in foreign markets and ensure that level playing field for our manufacturers in order to create and secure aerospace industry jobs here in the United States.

So, is selling an airplane overseas good for the country and for American jobs?

Yes–“plane” and simple.

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ITA’s Advocacy Center: Helping U.S. Companies Reach New Heights

December 21, 2011

Greg Bell is a staff writer for the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

Did you see the news?

The Japanese Ministry of Defense announced on Monday that, after a competitive bidding process, it has selected its next generation fighter aircraft — Lockheed Martin’s F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

Lockheed Martin’s F-35, assembled at the corporation’s Aeronautics facility in Fort Worth, Texas, teams with 1,300 domestic suppliers in 47 states and Puerto Rico.

Lockheed Martin’s F-35, assembled at the corporation’s Aeronautics facility in Fort Worth, Texas, teams with 1,300 domestic suppliers in 47 states and Puerto Rico.

It’s yet another sign that American-made products continue to represent excellence and quality all over the world.

Under the terms of the deal, the Maryland-based aerospace company will provide more than 40 airplanes to replace older models in Japan’s fleet.  The total value of the deal is projected to be $7.2 billion dollars, of which more than $5 billion is considered U.S. exports.

What does this mean for Americans?  Jobs.  Why?  Because exports put people to work.

In fact, this Lockheed Martin deal will support thousands of American jobs — an important outcome at a time when so many are struggling.

And, in the larger picture, this agreement highlights the great possibilities of doing business abroad; contracts with foreign governments provide a wealth of opportunities for U.S. companies — of all shapes and sizes — to boost exports, bolster their bottom lines and impact jobs here at home.

U.S. firms need a level playing field on which to compete.  The Commerce Department is committed to providing that level playing field.  Central to this effort is the International Trade Administration’s Advocacy Center.

Launched in 1993, the Advocacy Center works closely with Commercial Service offices abroad, as well as with other agencies throughout the Administration, to provide high-level support to U.S. companies bidding on major overseas projects.  We want to ensure that contracts are awarded based on quality and price, not politics, connections or any other ancillary factors.

The Advocacy Center works to accomplish a number of goals:

  • To promote the ingenuity, quality and creativity that so often characterize American products and services;
  • To ensure that U.S. companies are treated fairly and are involved in a transparent process; and
  • To help American businesses navigate through the increasingly complex rules and regulations developing in the global economy.

These efforts have led to great results. In 2011 alone, ITA’s Advocacy Center has helped U.S. companies win 51 overseas projects worth $36 billion, with U.S. export content of more than $25 billion, supporting more than 142,000 jobs.

For the deal in Japan, general advocacy on behalf of U.S. firms came from all levels and corners of government — including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

The Commerce Department was also a strong voice in this process: former Secretary Gary Locke advocated on behalf of U.S. firms to the Japanese government.

We are proud of our role in this landmark deal between Lockheed and the Japanese Ministry of Defense.  And, we are eager to help all U.S. businesses succeed in doing business with foreign governments.

So, if your company needs assistance, or if you know of another that could use some support, reach out to the Advocacy Center here.

We believe in American products.  We believe in American businesses.  We believe in American entrepreneurs.  And, we’ll do everything we can to create opportunities for success abroad. And as Secretary Bryson said recently, “Build it here. Sell it everywhere“.

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Sánchez: We Can’t Wait

December 9, 2011

Laura Marquez is the Director of the Border Export Strategy at ITA and advises the Under Secretary on matters relating to cross border trade. 

Francisco Sánchez, the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, is one of the nation’s highest ranking Latino officials. And as a Florida native, he knows firsthand the challenges faced by America’s Latino community as our economy recovers and as we put hard-working Americans back to work.

That is why I wanted to share with you a blog post from the Under Secretary that was recently featured by the White House. In the article, he lays out the challenges facing our community. He shares what he has heard at recent White House Hispanic Community Action Summits – including one last week in Miami. And perhaps most importantly, he lays out what the Obama Administration is doing to support American businesses, American workers, and to ensure that the American Dream is a reality not just for his generation, but for generations to come.

Americans can’t wait. They need jobs now. They need opportunities now.

Here at ITA, we are proud of Under Secretary Sánchez’s leadership within the Administration, and on behalf of our community.

Read Francisco’s article on the White House Blog here.

En Español.

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The ITA’s Work to Keep Americans Working: A Message from Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez

December 7, 2011

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Our focus at the International Trade Administration is on supporting American jobs, creating new opportunities for U.S. businesses and strengthening our partnerships abroad to bolster our economy here at home.

Francisco Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade

Francisco Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade

As you’ll read in this issue of International Trade Update, we are working every day — from the community level to the international level — on behalf of the American people to achieve these goals. And, as we look out at the landscape, it’s clear that one area that will be a key to our economic future is the Asia-Pacific.

President Obama recently said that “there’s no region in the world that we consider more vital than the Asia-Pacific region. And, we want, on a whole range of issues, to be working with our partner countries around the Pacific Rim in order to enhance job growth, prosperity, and security for all of us.”

That’s why the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum held in Honolulu, Hawaii was so important. I was proud to participate in this conference with President Obama, Commerce Secretary John Bryson, a host of other Administration officials and Asia-Pacific leaders. And, it’s safe to say we all left energized by the incredible possibilities and opportunities.

The 21 APEC member economies represent 2.7 billion consumers and generate 55 percent of the world’s GDP. In fact, the region is home to six of our top ten trading partners. Despite these stunning numbers, however, there is room for even more growth.

As this year’s APEC host, the United States has worked to fulfill this promise, and a great deal of progress has occurred. For example, APEC leaders agreed in Honolulu to:

  • Help small and medium-sized businesses by establishing business ethics principles and simplifying the customs process to make it faster, easier and cheaper to trade goods;
  • Reduce tariffs and other barriers that hinder the global exchange of environmental goods, one of the world’s most promising sectors; and
  • Reform the regulatory environment to level the playing field, enhance transparency and lessen unnecessary burdens on businesses.

ITA has been a valuable asset to this work, and we look forward during the APEC 2012 Russia host year to building on these results to strengthen the economy worldwide, for both our partners and the United States.

We seek to do this in other ways as well.

For example, as you’ll read in this newsletter, the ITA’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service is helping businesses — like Amarr Garage Doors, which is featured in this month’s issue — sell their products and services in overseas markets.

I also was proud to join Secretary Bryson in announcing the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness to ensure that U.S. companies can ship their products efficiently and compete effectively in the global marketplace.

And, I continue to advocate for U.S. firms abroad. In November, I led a transportation infrastructure trade mission to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which have announced plans for hundreds of billions in new projects. I also headed a clean technology trade mission to India, which has set ambitious renewable energy goals to support its rapidly growing economy.

Through it all, those of us at ITA have been proud to give American businesses and workers new opportunities at this critically important time in our nation’s history. And, we are so happy to have partners around world helping us turn our plans into progress. This is important work.

As the President said in Honolulu, “behind all the different languages and some very long names, we all share the same hopes, the same struggles, and the same aspirations. And we’ve learned that we’re more likely to realize our aspirations when we pursue them together.”

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The Department of Commerce and FedEx Partner on the Global Buyers Initiative

November 22, 2011

Matt Kennedy is the Director of Strategic Partnerships in the U.S. Commercial Service, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce

This past week at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, I had the honor of being  present as Secretary Bryson and COO and President, International of FedEx Express, Mr. Michael Ducker partnered in marking the commencement of the Global Buyers Initiative – a new program that aims to help expand U.S. exports abroad and create jobs here at home.

An expansion of our ever-valuable partnership with FedEx, the program will work to identify foreign importers who, while already adept in importation, may not be sourcing from U.S. companies and could benefit from doing so.  With the help of our domestic and international teams, we will reach out to these companies, work to connect them with U.S. suppliers, and extend to them the broad resources of the Commercial Service.

To advance the goals of the President’s National Export Initiative, we in the Commercial Service have been working to develop innovative, effective, and efficient ways to help U.S. companies expand their exports abroad.  With a current program, the New Market Exporter Initiative, we are focusing on supply.  With partners FedEx, the National Association of Manufacturers, the United States Postal Service, and UPS, we are working to identify U.S. companies that export their goods and services abroad, but to only one or two countries.  With much of the know-how already there, these companies—with the guidance and resources of the Commercial Service—are entering new markets and expanding their business.  The Global Buyers Initiative represents a ramping up of these efforts and an expansion of the strategy to the demand side: the international companies that are potential importers.

And while the strategy may be new, the goal is the same: expand exports, create jobs.  We are especially excited about the power of our new program to impact small businesses here at home.  By connecting with importers abroad, the Global Buyers Initiative will expand small firms’ reach into these key foreign markets and, in doing so, help grow this vital sector of our economy.   

We are excited to roll out the program this year in Canada, France, and Korea, focusing on NEI-priority markets, and have plans to expand it to Australia, Colombia, Japan, Mexico, Panama, and Singapore in the near future.  We are confident that with the help of this new initiative and the continuing hard work of our domestic and international teams and partners, American exports will be increased and American jobs will be created.

If you’re in the market for American-made products and want to participate in the Global Buyers Initiative you can reach us at partners@trade.gov.

(The email address in the final paragraph of this post was updated on November 7, 2012.)

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Quick Approval of Trade Agreements is Good News for the American Economy

October 12, 2011

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade

Earlier tonight, the millions of Americans concerned about jobs got some good news: Congress approved trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama.

It’s been a long journey to this moment, so let me cut right to the chase: Opening new doors of opportunity for U.S. firms to sell their products in these three markets will strengthen our economy and sharpen our competitive edge in the global economy.

It will also support jobs.

Ford Motor Company employees at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI assemble a 2012 Ford Focus.

Ford Motor Company employees at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI assemble a 2012 Ford Focus, one of the vehicles targeted for the Korean market under the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement. Photo by: Sam VarnHagen/Ford Motor Co. Used with permission.

For every billion in U.S. goods exported overseas, more than 5500 jobs are supported here at home.  In total, the three agreements will support tens of thousands of jobs and add billions to the U.S. GDP — reasons for all Americans to cheer.

I commend President Obama for his leadership in creating a balanced trade agenda.  He has worked tirelessly to get the best possible deal for businesses and workers.  Congress also deserves credit.  These measures were passed with bipartisan support.  That both parties were able to find common ground on these issues speaks to positive economic impact that these agreements will have on communities across the nation.

I also applaud the President and Congress for renewing the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.  Why?  Because whenever there is change, there are some who are negatively impacted; some Americans, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs because of foreign competition.  But all is not lost: TAA will help them retrain and retool for success in the 21st century economy.

The world is rapidly changing, and we must change with it to succeed in this economic environment. That’s why these three trade agreements are so important; they’ll create new opportunities across all regions and sectors.   Take the auto industry, historically a backbone of the middle class:

In 2010, the U.S. exported approximately $1.5 billion in vehicles and parts to the three prospective markets despite facing relatively high average tariffs.  Because the agreements have passed, the tariffs on these products will ultimately fall to zero, expanding opportunities for growth in exports for U.S. companies.

This is a big deal.  As President Obama said in his speech to Congress outlining the American Jobs Act:

“If Americans can buy Kias and Hyundais, I want to see folks in South Korea driving Fords and Chevys and Chryslers. I want to see more products sold around the world stamped with three proud words: “Made in America.”

With the passage of these three trade agreements, chances are we will indeed see more U.S. products sold around the world.  That’s a victory for us all.

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