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Continued Momentum Behind "Made in America" Trade Agenda



This week President Obama advocated for his historic trade agenda which, as he made clear, is “critical to growing America’s economy and advancing American leadership.”  This was amplified by multiple administration officials, who also promoted President Obama’s trade agenda. The groundbreaking trade agreements we’re negotiating with the Asia-Pacific region and the EU are critical to President Obama’s strategy for unlocking economic opportunity because they will increase Made-in-America exports, bolster American competitiveness in the global economy, support jobs and economic growth, and strengthen the American middle class.  


President Barack Obama to the Business Roundtable: “Trade:  In Asia, there is a great hunger for engagement with the United States of America, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership is moving forward….We are optimistic about being able to get a deal done and we are reinvigorating the negotiations with the Europeans on a transatlantic trade deal. If we can get that done, that's good for American businesses, it's good for American jobs, and it's actually good for labor and environmental interests around the world.”

President Barack Obama to the National Foreign Trade Council: “Today, more than ever, bolstering international trade is critical to growing America’s economy and advancing American leadership….That’s why we’re working so hard to negotiate and finalize new trade agreements that will link the United States more closely with countries across both the Pacific and the Atlantic and will deliver benefits for all our people.”



White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett to the National Foreign Trade Council: “The record over the last century is clear: trade has helped usher in a period of peace and prosperity that is, quite simply, unrivalled in human history. Expanding trade has created a bright future for billions around the world, including millions of Americans right here at home. Between 1991 and 2011, as developing countries doubled their share of global trade, nearly 1 billion men and women and children were lifted out of poverty. In the United States, international trade has added 10% to America’s GDP.  And in today’s terms, that’s an extra $13,600 in each pocket of every American family. The benefits of trade have been especially clear during the recent years. Since 2009, trade has contributed one-third of our economic growth, and during the past five years, the increase in American exports has supported an additional 1.6 million jobs. That’s the message that we have to get out, strongly and clearly, across our country.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest at Daily Press Briefing: “We’re looking for the kind of an agreement that’s going to open up overseas markets for American goods and services. That’s going to expand economic growth here. It’s going to create jobs here. It’s going to expand economic opportunity for American businesses and for middle-class families.”

Council of Economic Advisers Chair Jason Furman on CNBC: “We’re doing well…but there’s no debate with you that we should be doing better – no debate at all. And the question is what can we do to do better? The President is going to come here today and he’s going to be talking to the business community about how we can work together to advance our economy. And he's going to talk about three things. He's going to be talking about what we can do to reform our tax system, exactly as you just said, bring our rates down, but also close some of the loopholes – we have to worry about both halves of that; what we can do to invest in infrastructure, and that's something we can do as part of that tax reform; and what we can do to expand global trade with our partners in the Pacific and with Europe. Those are three areas that we could really work together with the business community to help move our economy.”



Wall Street Journal“Obama Says Trade, Tax Policy Are Areas of Potential Bipartisan Cooperation…Speaking to a gathering of top business leaders from the country’s largest corporations, President Barack Obama sketched out what he said are potential areas of bipartisan cooperation going into his final two years in office. Appearing at the quarterly meeting of the Business Roundtable, Mr. Obama identified tax policy, trade, infrastructure and immigration as potential areas for legislative progress with Republican lawmakers.”

  • Wall Street Journal: “…here’s a rosier school of thought more broadly held by economists and corporate chiefs: One of the biggest potential upsides for the economy next year, both in the U.S. and abroad, could stem from political action. The benefits of action, in other words, outweigh the risks of inaction….President Barack Obama sounded a similar note in an address Wednesday to the Business Roundtable. ‘There remains enormous areas of potential bipartisan action,’ he said, pointing to tax policy, trade, infrastructure and immigration as areas for legislative progress with Republican lawmakers. Movement on any one of those would add another tailwind to the U.S. economy.”

New York Times“On Wednesday, Mr. Obama lingered for nearly two hours with the chief executives of several of the largest American companies, rallying their support for an Asian trade deal and laying out his most detailed case yet for corporate tax reform.…Mr. Obama also stressed his determination to complete negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-country trade agreement that is a centerpiece of the president’s strategic shift to Asia. Selling the pact at home, he said, will be just as important as negotiating it, and he was clearly seeking allies among the business executives.”

USA Today“Obama pledges to work with majority Republicans…President Obama said Wednesday that while Republicans prepare to take control of the U.S. Senate, there are potential areas of bipartisan compromise that range from infrastructure to free trade….Obama acknowledged the new political circumstances — ‘the midterm elections did not turn out exactly as I hoped’ — but said he and his team will look for areas of agreement on the budget, trade, tax reform, and more money for road, bridge, and airport construction.”

Washington Post“As he has before, Obama cited tax reform, trade and infrastructure as areas where he hopes to cut deals with Republicans, and he added that if progress is made in those areas, then perhaps the parties could revisit immigration reform legislation later next year.”

Associated Press“Ahead of the Oval Office meeting, Obama outlined his most specific blueprint yet for striking compromises with Congress when the GOP takes full control of Capitol Hill next month. The president said there was ‘definitely a deal to be done’ on overhauling the nation's complicated tax code, but suggested it could take lawmakers more than six months to iron out the details of such an agreement. He said a deal on infrastructure spending could be included in a tax overhaul package and predicted progress on overseas trade agreements….McConnell, the Kentucky lawmaker who is soon to become Senate majority leader, has broadly agreed with Obama's calls for tax reform, improving the nation's infrastructure and inking free trade pacts.”

Reuters“Obama sketches 2015 agenda of taxes, trade; meets McConnell…Obama told the Business Roundtable, a group of chief executives of top U.S. businesses, that he would like to pursue corporate tax reform, free-trade deals and reach agreement on an immigration overhaul to replace his controversial unilateral action last month that loosened immigration policies.”

CBS News“Obama woos GOP on tax reform, immigration, free trade deals…On Wednesday, Mr. Obama also hailed fresh progress in negotiations over two new free trade agreements prized by Republicans. He cited a ‘great hunger’ among Asian nations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and said that effort is ‘moving forward.’ He also said his administration, led by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, is ‘reinvigorating negotiations’ with European countries on a Transatlantic trade deal….Republicans have sounded more bullish on the prospects for compromise on trade agreements than on some other issues. ‘At least on trade, I think there's a potential for agreement,’ McConnell said Tuesday.”

NBC News“Obama identified tax reform, infrastructure and trade as top legislative priorities he will focus on with the GOP-controlled Congress he will inherit in his final two years as president. If progress is made on those issues, Congress may be able to turn its attention towards comprehensive immigration reform.”