Every President has had his own vision of how to move our country forward. So it is certainly a rare occasion when leaders from every single Administration over more than 40 years share the same view. But when it comes to ensuring Americans can compete in the 21st century global economy, officials from the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations know that trade has an important role to play.
President Obama has been working with Congress to secure a new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It’s the most progressive trade agreement the world has ever seen, instituting fully enforceable standards that will protect our workers, our environment, and a free and open Internet.
That is why former officials from different corners of every Administration over the last four decades offered their support for the President’s trade agenda. See what they had to say:
Ten Secretaries of Commerce whose tenures span back to 1973 on why TPP is crucial to American businesses:
American companies grow and succeed in the global market place through high-quality high-standard trade agreements that help our firms gain access to new overseas markets. With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the United States, we must not allow opportunities to pass us by.
Eight Secretaries of Agriculture whose tenures span back to 1977 on why TPP is important to American farmers:
Exports support rural economies and the U.S. economy as a whole through agricultural processing, ancillary services and a host of related businesses. This was true when each of us served as US Secretary of Agriculture, and it is true now.
Eleven chairs of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers whose tenures span back to 1974 on why TPP is vital to the economy:
Expanded trade through these agreements will contribute to higher incomes and stronger productivity growth over time in both the United States and other countries. U.S. businesses will enjoy improved access to overseas markets, while the greater variety of choices and lower prices trade brings will allow household budgets to go further to the benefit of American families.
Five heads of the Small Business Administration whose tenures span back to 1997 on why TPP is necessary for small exporters:
One out of every five American jobs is tied to exports. These jobs generally pay better, nearly 20 percent better. Passing new trade agreements would be critical to our smaller exporters, which don’t have offshore affiliates to help them overcome trade barriers and gain market access.
That’s why granting trade promotion authority to the President is so important. Trade promotion opens doors for small businesses that would otherwise remain closed. TPP would be our first trade agreement with a specific chapter dedicated to growing our small business exports. The significance of this cannot be overstated; the barriers to accessing new markets are often more daunting for small business owners who have less resources than their larger counterparts.