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  January 11th, 2016 | Written by

Manufacturers Endorse Trans-Pacific Partnership

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  • NAM CEO: Without TPP, the U.S. would be ceding economic leadership to other global powers.
  • NAM CEO: We recognize TPP is not perfect, and there are some principled objections.
  • Opposition to TPP revolves around workers’ rights, currency manipulation, and manufacturing overcapacity.

The National Association of Manufacturers announced its support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

The TPP was concluded in October after more than five years of negotiations.

“Open markets encourage cooperation and prosperity among nations and governments, rather than conflict, and the NAM has a long and proud history of promoting free and fair trade,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “After careful analysis, the NAM will support the TPP as it will open markets and put manufacturers in a much stronger position to compete in an important and growing region of the world.”

Support for the TPP, which Timmons said would allow manufacturers to be more competitive in a global economy, is in keeping with the NAM’s principles. “Without such an agreement, the United States would be ceding economic leadership to other global powers, letting them set the rules of economic engagement in the region,” he said. “We recognize this agreement is not perfect, and there are some principled objections to the TPP, so the NAM will continue to work closely with its members to address remaining barriers, to raise standards, to promote the rule of law and to further level the playing field for all. Importantly, we encourage the administration to work closely with the industry, congressional leaders, and the other TPP governments to address these key issues.”

Unions such as the United Steelworkers oppose TPP over concerns it would depress wages, and doesn’t adequately address currency manipulation, overcapacity in global manufacturing, state-owned enterprises, among other issues.

According to Shane Larson, Legislative Director of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), TPP is unlikely to pass Congress before President Obama leaves office. “The opposition to the TPP is broad, deep, and bipartisan,” he said. “Given the political climate in both parties, unresolved substantive concerns, and the raw vote counts in Congress, it is hard to imagine how this trade deal gets passed this year or next.”

For Timmons, the TPP is a significant improvement over the status quo for manufacturers and for the broader economy. “It will substantially increase opportunities for the export and sale of U.S.-manufactured goods,” he said, “which means more economic opportunities for manufacturers and for the more than 12 million men and women who make things in America.”