This afternoon, President Obama sent the following message to the White House email list, explaining why we have to ensure that America is the country that writes this century's rules for the world's economy.
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My top priority as President is making sure more hardworking Americans have a chance to get ahead. That's why we have to make sure the United States -- and not countries like China -- is the one writing this century's rules for the world's economy.
Trade has an important role to play in supporting good-paying, middle-class jobs in the United States. Unfortunately, past trade deals haven't always lived up to the hype. That's why I've made it clear that I won't sign any agreement that doesn't put American workers first.
But we also should recognize that 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders. Exports support more than 11 million jobs -- and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages. Failing to seize new opportunities would be devastating not just for our businesses, but for our workers too.
That's why my Administration is currently negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- so we can benefit from trade that is not just free, but also fair.
We have the chance to open up more markets to goods and services backed by three proud words: Made in America. For the sake of our businesses, and American workers, it's an opportunity we need to take.
But beyond greater access to the world's fastest-growing region, the agreement will establish enforceable commitments to protect labor, environmental, and other crucial standards that Americans hold dear.
Right now, China wants to write the rules for commerce in Asia. If it succeeds, our competitors would be free to ignore basic environmental and labor standards, giving them an unfair advantage over American workers.
We can't let that happen. We should write the rules, and level the playing field for our middle class. The first step is for Congress to pass Trade Promotion Authority.
After years of shipping jobs overseas, our manufacturing sector is creating jobs at a pace not seen since the 1990s. Rather than outsourcing, more companies are insourcing and bringing jobs back home. Today, more than half of manufacturing executives have said they're looking at bringing jobs back from China.
Let's give them one more reason to get it done, by giving me the tools I need to grow our economy, boost exports for our businesses, and give more hardworking middle-class families a chance to get ahead.
President Barack Obama