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Froman: Atlas Devices Exemplifies Trade's Capacity to Unlock Opportunity, Support Jobs

April 14, 2014

atlasBoston – Ambassador Michael Froman joined Boston-based Atlas Devices in unveiling a factory expansion that will increase the company’s manufacturing capacity and support more jobs in Boston as a direct result of the company’s success in exporting.

“Unlocking economic opportunities for American businesses like Atlas Devices is an essential part of President Obama’s goal of creating jobs, promoting growth, and strengthening the middle class,” Ambassador Froman said. “Our 21st Century trade agenda will open markets for Made-in-America exports, level the playing field by raising international standards and vigilantly enforce our trade laws.”

Atlas Devices is known around the world for producing state-of-the-art rappelling tools that help soldiers and emergency personnel travel up to 10 feet per second in rescue operations.  The company has been able to expand thanks to their success in exporting to other countries, and the Obama Administration is working around the clock to unlock more opportunities for exporters like Atlas Devices so that the American middle class can continue to benefit from greater trade with the world. 

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman joined the MIT graduates and co-founders of Atlas Devices, Nate Ball, Bryan Schmid, Dan Walker and their employees, in their ribbon-cutting celebration to highlight how small, local businesses such as Atlas Devices use trade to drive economic growth and job creation in cities and towns across America.

Atlas Devices is a strong example of the effect exports can have on the success of a small business. Export-related jobs pay between 13 to 18 percent more than the national average. Exporting has enabled Atlas Devices to double its customer base every year for the past 3 years, a trend the company predicts will continue through 2014 and beyond. The company now serves all four branches of the U.S. military with a range of innovative products that enable new, faster methods of access and rescue in urban, maritime, and airborne operations, and the firm has doubled its workforce since its founding in 2005, all thanks to trade.

Boston has longstanding ties to trade, and trade remains critical to the Boston and Massachusetts economies. In 2012, the Boston metropolitan area was the 14th largest export market in the country, with merchandise shipments totaling a staggering $21.2 billion. The United States is currently negotiating two trade agreements in both the Atlantic and the Pacific regions, which will allow American companies, farmers, and workers access to almost two-thirds of the global economy once completed.

As part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement being negotiated among 12 countries in the fastest growing region in the world, Boston will directly benefit from reductions of tariffs on high-tech instruments and chemical exports, which are currently as high as 25 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

The European Union was the largest export market for Massachusetts exporters for 2011-2013, a market that stands to increase once the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations are completed with the E.U.

Also, the recent U.S. victory at the WTO in the rare earths dispute with China also puts Atlas Devices in a stronger position as an American manufacturer, as 6 of the 10 materials concerned are directly relevant to Atlas Devices technologies or processes.

“Trade has been indispensable to our economic recovery, and agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership will benefit companies of all sizes across the United States,” Ambassador Froman said. “Trade is an engine that helps drive our economic growth, and I look forward to working with more companies like Atlas Devices to open markets for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs.”

For information about how trade effects the lives of everyday American businesses, follow us on twitter @USTradeRep, and U.S. Trade Representative Froman @MikeFroman.