Contact

  • General Inquiries
    202.872.1260
    info@brt.org
  • Mailing Address
    300 New Jersey Avenue, NW
    Suite 800
    Washington, D.C. 20001
  • Media Contact
    Amanda DeBard
    Director
    adebard@brt.org

Membership Contact
LeAnne Redick Wilson
Senior Vice President
​lwilson@brt.org

    

What is Business Roundtable

Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.

For growth and jobs, expanded trade

Feb 29, 2012
Carter Wood

The House Ways and Means Committee today held a hearing on the White House's trade agenda, with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk testifying. Boiled down: More trade, more growth, more jobs. Or at least that's the BRT perspective.

In announcing the hearing, Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) said:

Opening new markets for U.S. businesses, workers, and farmers and strong enforcement of U.S. rights are essential to driving economic growth and job creation here in the United States.  The three free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea that Congress passed last year in a bipartisan manner sent a strong message that the United States has returned to the trade negotiating table.  We are now at an important juncture to move forward aggressively on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and other initiatives to make sure that last year’s momentum is not lost.  It’s also a critical time for us to look ahead for future trade and investment opportunities with important trading partners like the European Union, India, and Latin America to maximize American competitiveness and ensure that we do not fall behind.

Here's Chairman Camp's opening statement, and Ambassador Kirk's prepared testimony is here.

We especially appreciated the testimony of Brian Krzanich, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Intel Corp., who focused on the importance of increasing market access overseas as a way to create more U.S. jobs. He added the often-overlooked point that the country needs to expand trade to maintain the jobs we already have. Krzanich summarized:

This objective is critical to the continued growth and leadership of the United States, and must be a top priority as U.S. industries face escalating competition overseas and an increasing number of governments strike preferential trade deals with other significant economies. Moreover, open and robust trade has proven time and again to improve economic welfare globally.

The U.S. government can increase market access for U.S. companies in three basic ways: (i) expand existing fee trade agreements (FTAs) so they cover more markets and additional goods and services; (ii) negotiate additional robust FTAs on an accelerated basis; and (iii) use a combination of mechanisms (e.g., modernized agreements and promote persuasive best practices) to address emerging non-tariff barriers not covered by existing trade rules.

Agreed.

Expanded trade was also the talk of the Washington International Trade Association's now annual event held last Friday, the Governors and Ambassadors Trade Reception. BRT President John Engler served as master of ceremonies, and New Zealand's ambassador to the United States, Michael Moore, spoke on behalf of the countries involved in the negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Host governors were Steve Beshear of Kentucky, Terry Branstad of Iowa, Christine Gregoire of Washington (very amusing remarks) and Gary Herbert of Utah, who reports that Kentucky Fried Chicken started in his home state!

Video of the evening is here