June 23,2015

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Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202)224-4515

Hatch Speaks on TPA's Benefits to Manufacturing

In a speech on the Senate floor today, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) spoke on the importance of trade, and Trade Promotion Authority, to American manufacturing. Watch the full speech here.

The complete speech, as prepared for delivery, is below:

       Mr. President, I would like to take a few minutes to underscore the importance of trade – and Trade Promotion Authority – to the American manufacturing industry.

      Despite some claims to the contrary, U.S. manufacturers have been among the principal beneficiaries of our existing free trade agreements. One in four U.S. manufacturing jobs depend on exports. And, on average, the wages of those in export-supported manufacturing jobs are 18 percent higher than those of other factory workers.

      Furthermore, since the last TPA bill passed through Congress in 2002, U.S. goods exports have more than doubled, reaching $1.6 trillion in 2013 alone.  And, while we hear a constant drumbeat decrying our trade deficits, the U.S. enjoys a nearly $60 billion yearly manufacturing trade surplus with our 20 existing partners to free trade agreements.  Consumers and businesses in those 20 countries purchased $658 billion of U.S. manufactured goods in 2013 alone, which represents nearly 48 percent of all exports produced by the 12 million Americans employed in manufacturing.

      Clearly, Mr. President, in places where we have free trade agreements – where our manufacturers can compete on a level playing field – they are winning.  We need to build on that track record of success and enact more high-standard, 21st Century free trade agreements. 

      That is yet another reason why we need TPA.  

      It’s no wonder, then, that our TPA bill is supported by manufacturers throughout the country. 

      We’ve received letters or statements of support from groups like the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the American Forest and Paper Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the Semiconductor Industry Association, the Society for Chemical Manufacturing and Affiliates, the National Council of Textile Organizations, and many others.    

      On top of that, a number of iconic individual manufacturing companies have weighed in publicly in support of our bill, including Boeing, Cummins, Dow Chemical, Honeywell, Intel, Texas Instruments, Xerox, and many others. 

      Caterpillar, based in Peoria, Illinois, is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel engines, and gas turbines. Caterpillar knows the value of trade to a healthy economy, exporting nearly $88 billion in goods and services over the past five years, and they know that if we pass TPA they can do even better.

      Upon introduction of our bill, the company issued a statement saying: “Passage of TPA will provide the United States with the strongest possible hand when negotiating future trade agreements and will help eliminate the current high tariffs and trade barriers that companies like Caterpillar currently face.”

      And it is not just big companies that benefit.  Ninety-eight percent of the nearly three hundred thousand American exporters are small and medium sized business.  Let me say that again: 98 percent of all U.S. exporters are small and medium-sized businesses.  That fact escapes many people. 

      Let me give you just an example of one of these small businesses from my home state of Utah.

      Kimber Kable is owned and operated by Ray Kimber. Ray’s story is emblematic of the American dream.

      In the late 1970s, Ray figured out a way to weave audio cables to reduce unwanted noise and improve fidelity. The company he started in his garage over 35 years ago is now a driver of economic growth and a source of jobs.  Today, he employs 30 people in Ogden, Utah.  And he sells his cables to the world – two-thirds of Ray’s cables are shipped to customers overseas.

      Ray is not only a friend of mine, he’s also an outstanding example of a larger truth: The U.S. manufacturing sector is the most innovative in the world, and American workers are unsurpassed in manufacturing productivity.  Because of U.S. innovation and productivity, where U.S. manufacturing competes on an equal footing, it succeeds.  

      We can help people like Ray reach more markets and maintain healthy small businesses across America – businesses that will grow our economy and create more jobs.  But, we can only do that if our trade negotiators have the tools to set fair trade rules for our exporters. That is what our TPA bill provides.

      For example, a big part of the ability of small companies like Kimber Kable to sell around the world is digital trade.  That is why the TPA bill that is once again before us directs our trade negotiators to ensure that electronically delivered goods and services are classified with the most liberal trade treatment possible, and that our trading partners allow the free flow of data across borders. 

      But, using the Internet to market, sell, and transmit digital products is only part of the story. Companies like Ray’s are also innovators, and their innovations must be protected.

      Too many small business have experienced firsthand the destructive impact of intellectual property theft.  Companies like Kimber Kable have to contend with counterfeiters stealing his company’s name to sell inferior products.  This TPA bill, therefore, will also ensure that U.S. trade agreements reflect a standard of intellectual property rights protection similar to that found in U.S. law.  The bill calls for an end to the theft of U.S. intellectual property by foreign governments, including piracy and the theft of trade secrets, and for the elimination of measures that require U.S. companies to locate their intellectual property abroad in return for market access.

      These are strong provisions that will help U.S. manufacturing compete and sell their products around the world. 

      Companies from Caterpillar to Kimber Kable recognize the importance of trade and trade agreements to the future of American manufacturing.  They recognize that 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the U.S. and that, if we want to sell American-made products to these customers, we need strong trade agreements that break down barriers and level the playing field. 

      We simply cannot do that without TPA. 

      Mr. President, we can do better, and me must do better for American manufacturers. If we really want to support the American manufacturing industry, then we should vote today to pass this TPA legislation once and for all.