Tell Congress: Trade Promotion Authority Key to U.S. Businesses' Success





Dear Member of Congress,
 
Technology companies of all sizes are using international trade to power the American economy by relying on 95% of world’s population outside of the U.S. to sell their goods and services.  The global supply chain, digital delivery, and the Internet have made it possible for small and medium-sized businesses in the United States to take advantage of international trade to create jobs and grow our economy.
 
Whether through direct exports, reaching new users for our products and platforms, or supplying our goods and services to larger U.S. companies that export, we rely on international trade to grow our businesses.  The trade agreements currently being negotiated represent a tremendous opportunity to open new markets in the technology sector and set the rules for the 21st century digital economy and Internet. They also have the potential to eliminate barriers to integration in global supply chains and simplify and harmonize processes, regulations, and standards that can be onerous and costly obstacles to trade for small and medium-sized businesses. Setting the rules for digital trade will open doors to global markets for small and medium-sized businesses across all sectors.  
 
In order for American companies to continue growing and innovating, we need to ensure any trade agreements will allow U.S. companies of all sizes and across all sectors to compete on a level playing field. The first step to creating that level playing field is for our elected representatives in Congress to give US negotiators new, clear directions for future trade agreements that reflect the priorities of small and medium sized businesses in the rapidly changing innovation, digital, services, and Internet economy.  
 
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is the mechanism to do just that. TPA empowers Congress to set the Administration’s negotiating objectives for trade agreements. It also provides an assurance to our negotiating partners that Congress has already set the parameters for what the United States views as a successful trade package. In short: TPA strengths our country's negotiating position and provides our negotiating partners the confidence they need to give us their best offers – resulting in the strongest possible agreements for American businesses and workers.
 
We need a gold standard framework for global trade that is reflective of today’s digital economy and the growing importance of the companies of all sizes in the technology and Internet sectors. A modernized TPA package can provide guidance to negotiators on achieving this modern trade framework. The second step to accomplishing this is to evaluate each trade deal on its individual merits and whether it reflects America's trade priorities. We urge Congress to swiftly pass updated TPA legislation to support the almost 300,000 small and medium sized businesses that export and ensure that our trade policy is ready for the 21st century. 



Latest Developments in Free Trade

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In October 2014, Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of CEA, sat down with the co-founders of No Labels to discuss the state of U.S. trade. Listen to the full interview here.

Ray Kimber, President and Founder of CEA member company Kimber Kable testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee in July 2014 to discuss the importance of Free Trade Agreements.