By Lisa Malloy, director of Policy Communications and Government Relations
Today, Congress took a critical step in advancing U.S. global competitiveness with the introduction of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation. This is legislation our country sorely needs to maintain and accelerate economic growth through trade with nations around the world. Intel applauds the leadership of Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) in moving this critical issue forward.
If passed, TPA paves the way for two important trade agreements: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 11 Asian-Pacific countries and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) with the European Union. Together, these trading partners account for 65 percent of the world’s trade in goods and services and represent nearly 70 percent of U.S. exports.
American industries from agriculture to high-tech depend on selling goods and services to the 95% of the world’s consumers living outside the United States. In fact, international trade supports more than one in five American jobs – 38.1 million – according to research from the Business Roundtable.
Passing TPA will arm U.S. trade negotiators with a clear set of principles and objectives that support our nation’s economic, social and technological interests. In today’s innovation economy, these rules have never been more important.
TPP and T-TIP go beyond addressing traditional trade barriers, as they focus on emerging market restrictions related to our complex digital economy. These agreements address intricate non-tariff barriers related to issues such as intellectual property (IP) theft, forced technology transfer and compromised encryption standards that can be more damaging to American high-tech companies than the tariffs that often receive much of the attention. Intel and other high-tech companies are particularly galvanized by the increasingly sophisticated protections for American innovation abroad.
To that end, the newly-introduced TPA bill has an updated negotiating objective to facilitate digital trade, including through protections for cross-border data flows, and to recognize the significance of the internet in international commerce. It contains updated provisions addressing cyber theft, protecting trade secrets and calling for a high standard of IP protection. It also has a new negotiating objective that addresses forced localization of facilities and related barriers to U.S. goods and services exports.
At Intel, we recognize the power of American innovation and investment in our global competitiveness. Across the country, our campuses employ more than 50,000 talented workers and in total, support more than 700,000 American jobs and 7,000 suppliers.
As a result, we conduct roughly three quarters of Intel’s advanced manufacturing and R&D right here at home in the U.S., investments which are supported by the more than three quarters of our revenue from sales elsewhere in the world. This dynamic can’t continue without building sound trading partners.
TPA is a major milestone in American economic growth and will help businesses large and small create opportunity and success for employees and their families everywhere. We commend our members of Congress for joining together to introduce this legislation and look forward to its passage.