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U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman Underlines Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement’s Numerous Benefits for Los Angeles Economy

Chief U.S. trade official visits L.A. small business exporter WET and the Port of Long Beach to emphasize how the Trans-Pacific Partnership will deliver over 18,000 tax cuts for American exports and support high-paying jobs in California

Los Angeles, CA – U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the chief United States official for international trade and President Obama’s lead trade adviser, held several events in the Los Angeles area Tuesday, where he showcased how Made-in-America exports are helping the Los Angeles economy and detailed how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a major new trade agreement that gains American workers and businesses unprecedented access to the Asia-Pacific region, will help grow those benefits and support high-paying jobs in California. 

The TPP is President Obama’s signature trade initiative, and it will eliminate 18,000 taxes imposed on American imports to the Asia-Pacific while leveling the playing field for Americans with groundbreaking labor and environmental standards.  

This morning, Ambassador Froman and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia visited the Port of Long Beach, the second-busiest container port in the U.S. and a key gateway to Asia. 

“We are honored and excited to host Ambassador Froman at the Port of Long Beach, and we appreciate him visiting the most important trade gateway in the Western Hemisphere,” said Mayor of Long Beach Robert Garcia. “Ambassador Froman’s hard work on behalf of the United States has been crucial in strengthening our trade relationships and our economy, and we look forward to continued collaboration with his office.”

Later, Ambassador Froman toured WET, an award-winning L.A. small business that designs, engineers and manufactures some of the world’s best-known water and fire features. WET employs over 300 people, and 80-90 percent of the company’s revenue is from international sales, so WET has a tremendous stake in exporting. They support the TPP because it will gain them unprecedented access to important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, especially Japan, while protecting their intellectual property rights.

“At WET, we’re very proud that all of our design, engineering and manufacturing is done here in the United States,” said WET CEO Mark W. Fuller. “Exporting our unique water features all over the world has been a tremendous source of growth for our company and a major factor driving our employment – which currently stands at over 300 people. We strongly support the Trans-Pacific Partnership because it will give WET and other small businesses like ours unprecedented access to vital economies in the Asia-Pacific region by reducing the import taxes that burden our work when facing foreign competition. It also takes new, strong steps to protect our intellectual property, our most valuable asset abroad.”

"California exports support hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs and tens of thousands of businesses across the state," said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. "The Trans-Pacific Partnership is aimed at growing those benefits by cutting taxes on Made-in-California exports and leveling the playing field for California workers and businesses by raising standards in one of the fastest growing regions of the world. TPP includes unprecedented labor and environmental protections, helps small businesses export, keeps the Internet free and open, and safeguards American innovation with intellectual property protections. Small businesses like WET and the Port of Long Beach provide strong examples of how TPP will help Los Angeles, California, and the United States compete and win in the global economy."

In 2014, California exported an estimated $173.8 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world – supporting approximately 775,320 jobs. $75.5 billion of those exports came from the Los Angeles area.

For a profile on California and the Trans-Pacific Partnership from a recent Obama Administration TPP report, please click here.

For a White House fact sheet on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, please click here.