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MEMORANDUM: Local Editorial Boards on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

After the successful conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations early this month, editorial boards all over the United States have praised the outcome from a variety of perspectives.

Also, this week the Obama Administration released a new report on the deal’s economic benefits, “The TPP: 18,000 Tax Cuts on Made-in-America Exports,” which details many of the most significant tax cuts that the TPP will deliver for American exports from each state.

Below are key excerpts from a cross-section of these positive editorials on the TPP, accompanied by links to that state’s profile from the new TPP report. 

Lincoln Journal Star Editorial, 10/12/2015: “Details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership won’t be known for several weeks, when the text of the 30-chapter trade pact is made public. But Nebraskans, and their delegation in Washington, should be predisposed to approve the agreement finally put together by the Obama administration and representatives of 11 other nations. By all accounts, the agreement will help American agriculture by eliminating or lowering tariffs and other trade barriers. As most Nebraskans know, about one in four jobs in the Cornhusker State is related to agriculture. Here’s a list of the agricultural sectors that would benefit, according to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack: beef, pork, poultry, dairy, horticulture, rice, grains, soybeans, wheat and cotton.”


Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial, 10/12/2015: “It will do so by reducing or eliminating as many as 18,000 tariffs on American exports, some of them — such as a 35 percent levy on U.S. technology, a 59 percent duty on U.S. machinery and a 70 percent markup on American-made cars — remarkably steep. It is expected to increase U.S. grain exports by 11 percent; American dairy farmers will find it easier to export milk and eggs to Canada, which at present is largely closed to them thanks to tariffs that more than double the price.”


Nashua Telegraph Editorial, 10/12/2015: “When all is said and done, the TPP will one day be the largest trading bloc in the world. It will be a huge step forward in relaxing international trade restrictions, increasing global competition, and opening up the lucrative Asian markets to even more individuals and companies.…What often gets overlooked is that, even if we wanted to, we could not realistically hold back the tide of modernity, given improving communications, burgeoning economies and bigger and better means of transporting goods. We are much better off negotiating a deal that will better protect American innovation and trying to create a more level playing field.”


Miami Herald Editorial, 10/10/2015: “The proposal will end 18,000 tariffs on American products across the board, including automobiles, machinery, information technology and consumer goods. That will not only make it easier for U.S. products to compete in the vast area covered by this agreement, but it also will open new markets previously closed to U.S. goods. And that, in turn, leads to job creation inside U.S. borders and reduces the attraction of off-shoring jobs….The geopolitical dimension of TPP is as important as the economic impact. A failure to negotiate any agreement would have been a setback for U.S. credibility around the world because this country, as a leading trade nation, is seen as a major beneficiary. In addition, it strengthens the U.S.-Japan alliance that acts as a counter-weight to the growing influence of China in the region and reinforces U.S. influence in an increasingly important part of the world.”


Raleigh News & Observer Editorial, 10/10/2015: “But two considerations make the agreement desirable and necessary. First, it will strengthen the U.S. position in the Pacific and counter the growing economic power of China, which is not part of the deal. (If successful, the TPP may even attract China to join, a step that would make its markets more accessible and its economic behavior more accountable.) Second, the TPP is a necessary response to globalization. There’s no point in falling back on protectionist trade policies now.”


Detroit News Editorial, 10/9/2015: “The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a historic deal between the United States and 11 other nations that promises to streamline international commerce and boost 40 percent of the global economy by $285 billion in 10 years. That’s a lot of good in one package. The agreement would eliminate taxes, quotas and other bureaucratic hang ups to freer trade. It would also increase pressure on China to conduct business in line with the values of the U.S. and other involved nations.…The deal forces developing nations to boost labor environments; for example, requiring Vietnam to allow trade unions and forcing Malaysia to stamp out human trafficking. Previous trade deals included mechanisms that only forced countries to abide by their own labor laws, which are often lacking.”


Dallas Morning News Editorial, 10/9/2015: “In 2014, Texas' exports to countries covered by the agreement alone hit $156.6 billion, surpassing the $133.9 billion the state does in trade with its North American partners. With the Trans-Pacific Partnership in place, the growth could take off. The agreement, which began to take shape when former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk was U.S. trade representative, also would bring these nations closer to U.S. labor and environmental standards. That not only helps workers and nature but also helps make sure that those nations don't have an unfair economic advantage. And the agreement would give the United States vital economic leverage against China's ever-expanding global economic influence.”


Chicago Tribune Editorial, 10/8/2015: “If you want the United States to stay competitive and expand its influence overseas, you'll support the mega-size trade deal reached this week by Washington and 11 other nations broadly connected by the Pacific Ocean. The agreement will break down barriers and stir the pot of global interdependence in ways that should turn out well for American businesses, American consumers and — in a less measurable way — American ideals. The Trans-Pacific Partnership will knock down a variety of tariffs and quotas, eliminate burdensome red tape and set rules for issues such as intellectual property and labor rights for a group of countries that make up 40 percent of the global economy. The 12 nations already trade a lot but looked past each other on some basic issues of fairness, freedom and transparency.”


Chicago Sun-Times Editorial, 10/8/2015: “The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sweeping trade deal between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations announced Monday, lowers barriers to American participation in fully 40 percent of the global economy. The pact is good for America, though not without risks, and Congress should endorse it.”


Sacramento Bee Editorial, 10/8/2015: “The mammoth Pacific trade deal should be thoroughly scrubbed for potential pitfalls – and it will be before Congress votes on it. But at first glance and on balance, the Trans-Pacific Partnership appears to offer substantial benefits, especially to export industries in California and on the West Coast, while including important safeguards for workers and for the environment that are stronger than past trade pacts.”


Tacoma News Tribune Editorial, 10/8/2015: “If enacted, the Trans-Pacific Partnership would eliminate many thousands of tariffs that now burden U.S. exports to Pacific Rim nations. Washington would benefit more than any other state as markets expanded for its apples, wheat, potatoes, software and other goods. More American exports translate into more American jobs. Cheaper imports translate into more money in American pockets. This agreement deserves the benefit of the doubt.”


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial, 10/7/2015: “It's not a done deal yet — not with months of congressional scrutiny still to come — but the Trans-Pacific Partnership deserves passage. This major trade deal between the United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations should improve trade prospects in the region for American-made goods and serve as an important counterweight to Chinese ambitions for U.S. allies.”


The Oregonian Editorial, 10/7/2015: “Due to its location, manufacturing mix and strong agricultural base, Oregon is one of the states best-positioned to benefit from this agreement….Oregon is one of the most trade-dependent states in the nation, and Trans-Pacific Partnership countries received 44 percent of the state's $21 billion in exports last year. Other countries participating in TPP are Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Peru.”


Los Angeles Times Editorial, 10/6/2015: “The details matter, and the actual text of the agreement won't be released for a few weeks. Yet the very fact that negotiators from a dozen nations were able to strike a deal reflects the inescapable reality that trade is more globalized than ever before, which is why the administration is right to pursue agreements that promote higher standards for commerce in the 21st century….As the distance between countries is obliterated by commerce and technology, the U.S. can't simply impose the rules it wants for trade on the rest of the world; it has to negotiate for them. The administration deserves credit for getting this far — and a fair hearing for what it has proposed.”


New York Post Editorial, 10/6/2015: “Three cheers for President Obama. Seriously. The United States and 11 other nations — including Canada, Japan, Chile, Australia, Malaysia and Vietnam — on Monday announced final agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. The TPP accord has long been a major Obama goal….The US economy can certainly use that boost — but there’s also a national-security angle. The partnership will inevitably build closer ties among its members, countering an increasingly ambitious China.”


San Diego Union Tribune Editorial, 10/6/2015: “That’s why we hail the announcement Monday that the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations have reached agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest free-trade accord in decades. The deal isn’t just important for knocking down trade barriers and cementing our relationships with our allies; if approved, the pact would dramatically increase pressure on China and India to improve on shoddy environmental practices that have been tolerated to help their economies keep booming.”


Denver Post Editorial, 10/6/2015: “The full language of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal won't be released for a few weeks, but it's still very good news that a final agreement has been reached. Moreover, most elements of the accord, which involves 12 nations that account for 40 percent of the world's economy, are already known in broad outline…Sounds like the deal could be a boon to the U.S. economy.”


Minneapolis Star Tribune Editorial, 10/6/2015: “Most important, those privileged with a vote should put the TPP into a broad context. Yes, the aforementioned measures are essential. But so, too, is the deal’s diplomatic impact. The TPP is a rare, concrete accomplishment of the administration’s Asian ‘pivot.’ Some of China’s neighboring nations, nervous over the emerging superpower’s potential threat, are party to the TPP. China is not. Rejecting the pact might mean that the rules of Pacific trade would become Beijing-centric, and it’s highly unlikely that China would as vigorously protect workers, the environment, intellectual property or other TPP priorities.”