CalChamber Urging Congress to Act on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Congress returns from its summer recess today for four more weeks of pre-election action. The California Chamber of Commerce is urging the California congressional delegation to prevent the loss of U.S. jobs to foreign competitors by supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Delaying congressional approval of TPP for just one year would cost the U.S. economy $94 billion.

To write a letter to your elected official in support of TPP, click here.

Asia-Pacific Market

The large and growing markets of the Asia-Pacific already are key destinations for U.S.- and California-manufactured goods, agricultural products, and services suppliers, and the TPP will further deepen this trade and investment.

U.S. goods exports to TPP nations totaled $680.1 billion in 2015, representing 45.2% of total U.S. goods exports.

In 2015, California exports in goods with TPP members were $68.9 billion, making California the second largest exporting state to the region. Furthermore, 41.6% of California’s exports in goods went to TPP nations, supporting 1.9 million jobs in the state.

The Asia-Pacific region is a key driver of global economic growth, representing nearly half of the Earth’s population, one-third of global gross domestic product and roughly 50% of international trade. The International Monetary Fund estimates that nearly two-thirds of world economic growth in 2016–2017 will be in Asia.

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pointed out in April 2016: “Ultimately, this whole debate — about TPP, T-TIP [Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership], trade generally — comes down to a fundamental question: Will we bind our nation closer to partners and allies in the Asia Pacific and Europe, and strengthen our existing and emerging relationships in key markets and regions? Or will we pull back from our role as the indispensable global leader and leave others to fill the void, and delude ourselves into somehow believing that will make us safer?”

The nonpartisan Peterson Institute estimated in January that access to the Asia-Pacific region could increase U.S. exports by $357 billion annually by 2030, and boost overall U.S. annual real income by $131 billion in the same timeframe.

Trans-Pacific Partnership

The TPP contains 30 chapters of trade, labor, intellectual property, and environmental regulations. Those chapters will eliminate 18,000 foreign taxes on U.S. products, boost exports, protect intellectual property rights, and strengthen labor rights and human rights abroad.

TPP puts American workers first by establishing the highest labor standards of any trade agreement in history, helping small and medium-sized businesses benefit from trade, promoting anticorruption and transparency, and protecting U.S. workers from unfair competition. All the negotiating 12 countries also have agreed to adopt high standards in order to ensure that the benefits and obligations of the agreement are fully shared.

Trade ministers representing the TPP countries—Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam—signed the TPP in Auckland, New Zealand on February 4, 2016, after more than five years of negotiations.

CalChamber Position

The CalChamber supports allowing California companies to compete more effectively in foreign markets, as well as to attract foreign business to California. The CalChamber supports expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad, and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.

Staff Contact: Susanne T. Stirling

Susanne T. Stirling
Susanne T. Stirling, senior vice president, international affairs, has headed CalChamber international activities for more than four decades. She is an appointee of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the National Export Council, and serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Policy Committee, the California International Relations Foundation, and the Chile-California Council. Originally from Denmark, she studied at the University of Copenhagen and holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of the Pacific, where she served as a regent from 2012 to 2021. She earned an M.A. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. See full bio.