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U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman Promotes Trans-Pacific Partnership at Consumer Electronics Show

During global exhibition of innovative technology products ranging from wearables to global technology, United States trade head shows how the Trans-Pacific Partnership will deliver over 18,000 tax cuts for American exports and support high-paying jobs in the technology sector

Las Vegas, N.V. – In his first public event of 2016, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the chief American trade official, came to the Consumer Technology Association’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to underline the job-supporting economic benefits the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will deliver for American technology exports.

The TPP is a major new trade agreement between the United States and 11 other countries, which taken together amount to nearly 40% of the global economy. The agreement is a centerpiece of President Obama’s economic agenda because it will gain Americans unprecedented access to the Asia-Pacific by cutting over 18,000 taxes various countries put on Made-in-America products.  The TPP will also level the playing field for American workers and businesses by setting high-standard rules across the region, including groundbreaking protections for intellectual property, labor rights, a free and open internet, and many other areas.

The U.S. exported $35.8 billion of information and communication technology (ICT) products to TPP countries in 2014 (38% of all U.S. ICT exports to the world). That same year, American exports of high-tech instrument exports to TPP countries were $10.4 billion in 2014 (32% of U.S. high-tech instrument exports to the world). And the TPP countries have agreed to end nearly all import taxes on U.S. ICT and high-tech instruments exports once the deal is implemented. 

Also, because the TPP has strong provisions to keep the internet free and open, as well as to ensure the free flow of data across borders that is vital to the digital economy and to American technology companies, Ambassador Froman stressed that the U.S. exported $87.7 billion in digitally deliverable services to TPP countries in 2015.   

“As the premier location where thousands of American entrepreneurs, scientists, and business leaders showcase innovative new breakthroughs every year, CES helps signify why the TPP is at the forefront of President Obama’s push to grow the United States economy and support high-paying jobs across the country: because we want customers in the Asia-Pacific buying what we invent and export,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. “To level the playing field for American workers and businesses so that they can compete and win in the global economy, American trade policy needs to help shape globalization in a way that plays to the strengths of the United States economy – and technologies like those on display here today are a key strength we should build on.”     

“It was a pleasure to have Ambassador Froman visit Qualcomm’s booth at the Consumer Electronics Show and see the technologies we are commercializing around the world,” said Derek Aberle, President, Qualcomm Incorporated.  “The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) – once approved by Congress and implemented – will create new market opportunities for American businesses, and grow and maintain high-skill, high-wage jobs for American workers.  This is why Qualcomm and other U.S. ICT companies strongly support TPP and urge Congress to approve TPP implementing legislation at the earliest opportunity.” 

“This year at CES, we are demonstrating more than 100 technology solutions that enable the dramatic advancements we are seeing in areas like automotive to make cars more fun, safer and greener, and the revolution that smart, connected devices will have across all industries," said Greg Delagi, senior vice president and general manager of Texas Instruments embedded processing business. "Open trade - specifically the expanded Information Technology Agreement and Trans-Pacific Partnership – will enable us to spread these innovations around the world, and we’re excited to share with Ambassador Froman how the work he and his staff is doing helps us to empower engineering creativity worldwide.” 

This week the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, and the National Association of Manufacturers each endorsed the TPP. Last month, the Information Technology Industry Council also endorsed the agreement.

On a related note, after reviewing the finished TPP, the U.S. Industry Trade Advisory Committee for Information and Communications Technologies, Services and Electronic Commerce found that the agreement, “meets our objectives, promotes the economic interests of the United States, and provides equity and reciprocity for our sectors, and therefore we endorse its approval and implementation by all Parties.”

The promise of the TPP follows another significant trade victory for the consumer electronics industry: last month the United States and over 50 partner countries clinched a landmark expansion of the Information Technology Agreement, which will phase out hundreds of tariffs on information technology exports all over the world (for a fact sheet, please click here).

At CES, Ambassador Froman held several events illustrating how the TPP will help support high-paying American jobs and economic growth by eliminating barriers that have restricted the flow of American technology and consumer electronics exports to key Asia-Pacific markets.

This morning, Ambassador Froman hosted a roundtable with small business leaders focused on how the TPP will provide unprecedented benefits to American small businesses who are working to export to the Asia-Pacific region.  His primary message was that while large firms often have the resources to grow and hire through exporting despite trade barriers, the 98 percent of U.S. exporters that are small and medium-sized businesses are frequently locked-out of critical markets by tariffs and other measures. 

TPP addresses these obstacles through many new provisions, including the first-ever small business chapter in any trade agreement.  In December, the National Association of Small Businesses endorsed the TPP for these reasons.

Afterward, Ambassador Froman toured the convention booths of Texas Instruments Dallas, Texas and Qualcomm of San Diego, California.

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

For a Department of Commerce fact sheet on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the U.S. information and communication technology exports sector, please click here.

For a Department of Commerce fact sheet on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the U.S. high-tech instruments exports, please click here.

 

CES SMALL BUSINESSES THAT PARTICIPATED IN THE ROUNDTABLE

Genesis Advanced TechnologiesWashington State
Genesis Advanced Technologies, a family owned business with 4 full time employees, is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and also maintains an office in Singapore.  The company designs and manufactures high-end, custom-made loudspeakers, electronics and interfaces to reproduce music, voices, and sound effects. Every product is custom-built and individually tested in the USA, and the company views this as an important component of its brand reputation.  Genesis’ biggest export market is currently TPP partner Malaysia.  Their products currently face tariffs as high as 30% on insulated cables in Malaysia, 20% on amplifiers in Vietnam, and 20% on loudspeakers in Vietnam. 

Dexcom – California
Dexcom, based in San Diego, CA, is a medical device company. The Company is focused on the design, development and commercialization of continuous glucose monitoring systems for ambulatory use by people with diabetes and for use by healthcare providers for the treatment of people with and without diabetes. Their product the DexCom G4 system in TPP partners Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Canada.  In addition to reduced tariffs, the company is interested in standards and patent protections. 

Audio Control – Washington State
AudioControl is a U.S. based manufacturer of performance audio components and amplifiers for home theater, distributed audio, and mobile audio systems. Amplifiers face tariffs up to 20% in TPP countries.  The company is headquartered in Mountlake Terrace outside Seattle, WA and designs, manufactures and sells its audio equipment from there. Audio Control exports to Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Peru, Singapore, and New Zealand. 

Impact GelWisconsin
Impact Gel is based in Ettrick, Wisconsin.  The company was founded by its CEO Matt Kriesel in 2002.  The company developed and manufactured a gel for application to a variety of consumer products, from footwear to motorcycles to phone cases.  Impact Gel’s manufacturing is 100% based in the U.S., and they export through their retailers as well as their e-commerce site and use express delivery services to sell their product all over the world. Impact Gel also has Trademarks.  

Balanced Audio Delaware
Balanced Audio is a company based in Wilmington, Delaware that designs and manufactures high end audio products such as amplifiers, phonostages, and preamplifiers. Amplifiers face tariffs up to 20% in TPP countries. Balanced Audio exports through distributors to TPP partners Vietnam, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Canada, and Australia.

Kimber Kable – Utah
Kimber Kable, based in Ogden, UT handcrafts cables for audio and video use.  The company was founded in 1979 and employs 35 people.  Kimber Kable manufactures all their cables in the U.S.  Insulated cables face tariffs as high as 30%. Southeast Asia is their fastest growing market, including Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. In addition to reduced tariffs, the company is interested in TPP’s ability to close loopholes and strengthen intellectual property overall. 

Olloclip – California                                                                                                                                                                
Olloclip, of Huntington Beach, California, manufactures clip on cameras for iphones and other consumer devices.  The company started with seed funding through KickStarter, and has growth through access to overseas markets.  It manufactures all of its product in Los Angeles, and exports all of the world. 

Global CacheOregon
Global Cache, with 25 employees, is headquartered in Jacksonville, Oregon.  The company sells control and automation solution products globally, including to TPP markets Australia, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Japan. They access foreign markets largely through distributors, and think that reduced tariffs through TPP can play a critical role in enhancing their market access.