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Utah News

TPP Pushed As Good Trade Plan for Utah

The U.S. Department of Commerce has released an outline of how each state, including Utah, will benefit should congress approve the Obama administrations plan to reduce tariffs and increase exports to the Trans-Pacific. 

In 2014 Utah exported 3.7 billion dollars in goods to countries like Japan, Malaysia, and Vietnam according to the U.S. Department of Commerce which is pushing for the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. The president's U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman penned the plan he said will give Utah’s small business owners and opportunity to export goods that will increase the state’s labor market by creating more jobs.

“We know every billion dollars in increased exports supports 5000-7000 jobs in the U.S,” he said.

Congress is expect to begin reviewing the partnership plan after the December holidays. Both Democrats and Republican leaders are asking questions about how the partnership might affect jobs and the U.S. Economy. Froman is on tour touting what he said are the benefits of an agreement designed to improve trade relations, encourage the exportation of U.S. goods, and protect American jobs.

“To make sure that our workers, farmers, ranchers, and small businesses are able to take advantage of the fact that 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States. The Asia Pacific region is going to be home to two-thirds of the world’s middle class by 2030 and we want to make sure as they become middle class consumers that they are buying Made in America and Grown in America products,” he said.

Thirty percent of Utah goods exports went to countries included in the plan. Froman is pushing for owners of small and medium sized businesses to embrace what he said will nearly eliminate all foreign import taxes on industrial and consumer goods including medical goods. That is good news for Utah companies that manufacture surgical products according to Froman who explained that once the TPP passes those goods will be almost duty-free in all eleven countries included in the trade proposal.

“By tearing down these barriers but leveling out the playing field we increase exports and increase the number of jobs in the US supported by exports. Those are well paying jobs that help us deal with income inequality and wage stagnation. That is part of the solution to those challenges are well.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, also supports the trade plan for the trans-pacific. She said approval of the plan by congress will provide new and commercially meaningful market access for U.S. exports of food and agricultural products. 

“The TPP will put into place the strongest and forcible labor and environmental standards and any trade agreement in history.  Also, it will address new challenges presented by the emergence of the digital economy and include the first ever chapter in a trade agreement focused on how to ensure small businesses will benefit from trade,” she said.

Supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership said the agreement will expand market access and investment opportunities in a number of services sectors including entertainment, telecommunications, software licensing, and will bar discrimination against digital provision of services.