Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202)224-4515
Hatch Speaks on Importance of Trade to Home State of Utah
In a speech on the Senate floor today, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) addressed the importance of international trade to the state of Utah and the benefits of the passage of Trade Promotion Authority. Watch full speech here.
The complete speech, as prepared for delivery, is below:
Mr. President, I would like to take just a few minutes to talk about the importance of international trade to my state of Utah and how Utahns will benefit from the passage of our TPA bill.
Despite having a relatively small population, the state of Utah is a very significant player in international trade.
In 2014 alone, Utah exported more than $12 billion in goods. That number has more than doubled over the past decade, despite the economic downturn that took place during that time.
Good exports account for more than 11 percent of Utah’s GDP. More than 50,000 Utah jobs are directly tied to goods exports as more than 3,400 Utah-based companies export goods to countries around the world. And, by the way, nearly 86 percent of those exporting companies are small or medium-sized businesses.
These Utah exports include a number of key manufacturing exports, including primary metal products, computer and electronic products, chemicals, processed foods, and transportation equipment.
There are a number of Utah companies that I could single out here today – like I said, there are more than 3,400 Utah-based exporters – but, let me talk about one in particular.
Albion Laboratories, which is based in Clearfield, Utah, is a leading global manufacturer of chelated minerals for human and plant nutritional applications. The company is incredibly innovative, owning more than 100 patents from manufacturing processes to food applications.
Over the years, Albion has enjoyed strong growth, in large part because of its expanded exports. Today, Albion exports to more than 100 different countries, which has allowed the company to regularly add new jobs to accommodate its increased output. As of right now, the company employs approximately 150 people.
This is just one example, Mr./Mme. President, of the many unique and innovative Utah companies that have benefited from international trade and will benefit even more from expanded access to foreign markets in the future.
Now, there has been a lot of talk lately about the potential benefits of our pending trade agreements with countries in the Asia-Pacific region and the European Union.
As of right now, more than half of Utah’s exports already go to these two markets. Therefore, I think it’s safe to say that Utah-based exporters will benefit greatly from the expanded market access they’ll undoubtedly see if we can get both the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership over the finish line.
Of course, without TPA, these two important trade agreements, which are among the largest and most ambitious agreements in our nation’s history, don’t stand a chance.
TPA gives our negotiators the tools they need to the get best deals possible.
TPA gives Congress and our constituents a strong voice in the negotiating process.
And, of course, TPA assures that, once an agreement is reached, our country will be able to deliver on the deal.
Utahns depend on international trade, Mr./Mme. President.
Utah’s job creators – like those throughout the country – need greater access to foreign markets in order to compete. Put simply, they aren’t going to get that access without TPA.
So, for the sake of the thousands of Utah companies that export goods around the world, and the tens of thousands of Utahns whose jobs depend on those exports, I urge my colleagues to join me one more time in supporting our TPA legislation.
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