Published: October 21, 2011
Washington – Business Roundtable cited today’s signing by President Obama of trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislation as a pivotal event that it hopes will encourage a reinvigorated U.S. international trade and investment agenda.
“Business Roundtable commends the President and Congress for working together to approve these pro-growth, job-creating trade agreements and bipartisan TAA legislation,” said Jim McNerney, Chairman of Business Roundtable and Chairman, President and CEO of The Boeing Company. “It’s now time to build on this milestone and focus on the future. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the United States, our manufacturers, service providers and farmers stand to benefit from a fair and accountable international trading system. Pursuing additional international trade and investment initiatives will open new markets for businesses of all sizes, and fuel U.S. economic growth and job creation. If we do not seize the opportunity to lead, others will, and the accompanying economic benefits will accrue to their nations rather than ours.”
“This is a significant and long-awaited moment for the U.S. economy,” added Doug Oberhelman, Chairman & CEO of Caterpillar Inc., and Chairman of BRT’s International Engagement Committee. “I hope this signals the beginning of the kind of proactive trade and investment agenda our country needs to truly compete in the global economy. We’ve still got work to do to further open international markets to U.S. goods and services, and the bipartisan support garnered by these trade agreements gives me confidence that we are starting to move in the right direction.”
“We are grateful to the leadership of both parties for coming together to make these important trade agreements a reality,” concluded Evan G. Greenberg, Chairman & CEO of ACE Limited, and a BRT member active on international trade issues. “We are mindful, however, that our foreign competitors have not been standing still over the last several years. The United States must continue to forge new trade and investment agreements to help level the playing field and create fair rules for our companies, farmers and workers to sell more products and services throughout the world.”
Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with over $6 trillion in annual revenues and more than 14 million employees. BRT member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock market and invest more than $150 billion annually in research and development – nearly half of all private U.S. R&D spending. Our companies pay $163 billion in dividends to shareholders and generate an estimated $420 billion in sales for small and medium-sized businesses annually.
BRT companies give nearly $9 billion a year in combined charitable contributions.