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Ambassador Michael Froman Emphasizes Texas’s Record-Breaking Exports

February 17, 2015

Top U.S. Trade Official Visits Dallas to Highlight Texas as a Model for How Trade Benefits the American Middle Class and Supports Jobs, Advocates for President Obama’s Historic Trade Agenda

Dallas, TX – U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the chief official in President Obama’s cabinet for trade policy, showcased Texas’s standing as the state that exports the most Made-in-America goods in the United States. Ambassador Froman toured Mary Kay’s manufacturing facility with U.S. Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Mary Kay Inc. executives, where he discussed how President Obama’s unprecedented trade agenda will unlock economic opportunity across Texas and the United States, supporting high-paying middle class jobs.  

“Texas is the number one state in the country when it comes to exports,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. “And those exports, like the products manufactured here by Mary Kay, are estimated to support over a million jobs.  That is exactly why the groundbreaking trade agreements we’re negotiating with the Asia-Pacific region and the European Union are at the heart of President Obama’s strategy for ‘Middle Class Economics.’ Trade was crucial to our economic comeback as a nation, and Texas serves as an outstanding example for how trade grows our economy, supports jobs, and strengthens the America Middle Class.”

In 2013, Texas exported $279.5 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world, supporting over an estimated 1.1 million jobs.  The metropolitan area of Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington alone exported $27.6 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world, making it the country’s 9th largest metropolitan exporter. 

Trade is a key driver of Texas’ economy, and President Obama’s two highest trade priorities, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), will give Dallas and Texas enhanced access to four out of Dallas’ largest five export markets – Mexico, Canada, Singapore and the Netherlands.

“I’m delighted to have the trade Ambassador here today and especially the Mayor to visit with one of our larger manufacturing companies that exports,” said U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30).  “And therefore trade is extremely important to this company. And I want to learn myself but also to make sure that our trade Ambassador sees some of the great jobs we have here. They don’t cry out for a minimum wage increase here – it’s above minimum wage to work here.  And I’m very proud of this company.”

“Mary Kay is one of the most important corporate citizens in Dallas,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “And as we looks at our strategies long-term, we need to compete globally. Globalization is taking place, and we have got to shape that and make sure we get our fair share here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, having companies like this. But more importantly, as well, making sure we’ve got the right deals with nations across the world.  That’s what [Ambassador Froman] is doing, and I support the White House and his efforts in that.”

“On behalf of Mary Kay, we’re so privileged to have our 3 dignitaries here today,” said Anne Crews of Mary Kay, Inc. “Our Dallas manufacturing facility manufactures skincare and color cosmetics which are exported around the world to other Mary Kay markets. As a matter of fact, 57 percent of the products manufactured here in Dallas are shipped outside of the U.S. We think the Mary Kay manufacturing facility is a great illustration of growing U.S.-based businesses by supporting global trade. So we strongly support international trade, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and look forward to working with you all to make these agreements happen for the country.” 

These trade agreements will help American manufacturers such as Mary Kay by raising labor and environmental standards throughout the Asia-Pacific region, leveling the playing field for U.S. workers and businesses.  On that note, Ambassador Froman stressed the importance of Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which President Obama called for in his State of the Union address.

“This is our chance to open markets around the world and create a fair and level playing field for American workers and American businesses,” Ambassador Froman continued. “And the first step in that process is to get trade promotion legislation through Congress, and the President is working with Republicans and Democrats in both houses to deliver on that. There’s a real chance for doing something together on a bipartisan basis, and it starts right here.”

Finalizing the TPP and T-TIP will help Texas sell more Made-in-America exports across the world and bolster American competitiveness in the global economy.

To view a fact sheet about Texas’ record-breaking exports and unlocking economic opportunity for Texans through trade, click here.

To view Ambassador Froman’s op-ed in The Dallas Morning News today, click here