Trade negotiators from 12 Trans Pacific nations along with the United States are meeting in Atlanta this week in an attempt to secure a final deal on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. The Congress, with the support of the mayors have passed the Trade Promotion Authority legislation which paved the way for final negotiations to proceed. At the 84th Annual meeting in San Francisco in June 2014, the mayors adopted a policy calling for the Administration to complete a TPP trade agreement.
The TPP is the first trade agreement ever to have particular focus on small and medium sized businesses. Through TPP, the goal is to make it possible to open markets and support good paying jobs. Mayor Kasim Reed said that the metropolitan Atlanta area is already the 13th largest exporter in the United States, but it still has tremendous opportunity to further grow its exports, economy and create jobs with this TPP deal. It is an unprecedented opportunity for the small business to access vital markets across the world. It will not only raise labor and environmental standards but also make them more competitive in the global economy.
The TPP is the first of its kind to incorporate enforceable labor and environmental standards along with a uniform tariff system which would benefit many U.S. companies. According to the Office of United States Trade Representative:
- U.S. exports have hit record highs of $2.34 trillion in 2014, roughly up by 50% in last 5 years
- Over 300,000 American companies export goods, 98% of which are small and medium sized business
- Exports supported 11.7 million jobs in the United States
- From 2009 to 2014, additional 1.8 million jobs have been supported
- Jobs in export intensive industries pay upto 18% more than average jobs in other industries
- Expanded trade has roughly added $13000 on average to each American family’s income
Cities need to be able to do business with the world. In 2014, $5.8 billion in local merchandise was exported from Tampa area alone. Florida’s economy depends on trade, as said by Mayor Bob Buckhorn. The TPP will continue to foster innovation and economic growth needed to support the workforce.