U.S. Mayoral Group Supports Ratification of Trans Pacific Agreement
The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) has come out in favor of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the far-reaching regional trade pact that would join 12 Pacific Rim countries, including the U.S., in a far-reaching free trade agreement that would encompass nearly 40 percent of the global economy.
The agreement is now in the ratification phase with the affected nations currently undergoing their respective domestic legislative processes to bring the agreement into force, a task expected to take up to two years.
“Given that 89 percent of current exports originate in city/metro areas (USCM/HIS), TPP will be a shot in the arm for our local economies, especially because the agreement contains provisions promoting exports from small and medium sized businesses that are the backbone of our Main Street communities,” the USCM said.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a non-partisan organization based in Washington, D.C. comprised of the chief elected officials of the nearly 1,400 cities in the U.S. with populations of 30,000 or more.
Citing a recent study by the Peterson Institute, the Washington, D.C.-based economic think tank, the TPP, the group said, “is a high standards trade agreement that will reform the rules for trade and level the playing field for US workers and businesses.”
The agreement, the USCM said, “contains the strongest labor and environmental protection standards of any trade agreement in history, strong intellectual property protections, and requirements that other countries keep the Internet free and open. Its effect will be to raise standards across the Trans-Pacific region.”
In addition, the TPP “will increase annual real income in the U.S. by $131 billion, or 0.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2030 when it is fully implemented. Annual exports will increase $357 billion (9.1 percent) by 2030,” it said.
Calling on Congress to adopt the TPP “as soon as possible,” the mayoral group said that “the damage of inaction or delay to pass TPP would significantly hurt the American economy and the United States’ position in the world.”
According to the Peterson study, it said, “if Congress failed to approve the pact this year, it would cost the American economy $77 billion in lost growth, and this negative effect would compound over time.”
The USCM recently adopted a “16 Point Mayors’ Compact,” which calls on the candidates of both parties currently campaigning for the White House to “support trade and export expansion through modern trade agreements, including the Trans Pacific Partnership.”
Enactment of the agreement, it said, “is most important for the future of our cities and our nation, and our next president will be called upon to implement it. We urge all candidates to support the passage of TPP now.”