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U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and U.S. Representative Ron Kind Emphasize Economic Benefits of Exporting and President Obama’s Trade Agenda

August 11, 2014

Ambassador Froman and Rep. Kind Tour Wisconsin Dairy Farm and Discuss Obama Administration Efforts to Unlock Economic Opportunity by Increasing Exports

La Crosse, WI – U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and U.S. Representative Ron Kind (WI-3) visited the Farm of Byron Krueger in Melrose to spotlight the economic benefits that exporting Made-in-America goods and services is bringing to Wisconsin every day.  They also advocated for President Obama’s historic trade agenda, which will unlock opportunity for Wisconsin farmers, businesses, families and workers by helping them sell more exports across the world. 
After touring the Krueger family farm, which is home to over 400 dairy cows, Ambassador Froman and Rep. Kind held a forum with farmers and agriculture community leaders to discuss how Wisconsin stands to gain from the current U.S. trade agenda, especially through unprecedented trade deals that are being negotiated with countries in the Asia-Pacific region and the European Union. 
The Obama administration is working around the clock to simultaneously negotiate the two largest, most significant trade agreements in American history: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which will give the United States premium access to the fast-growing economies of the Asia-Pacific, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), which will greatly enhance America’s trade relationship with the European Union. These agreements will also bolster America’s competitiveness in the international economy by giving the United States free trade with two-thirds of the world economy.
“As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, his number one priority is to expand opportunity for Americans from all walks of life,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.  “That goal is at the heart of our trade policy, which is aimed squarely at supporting jobs, fostering economic growth, and strengthening the American Middle Class.  Wisconsin is an outstanding example of the contributions that hard-working farmers make to the United States economy by selling their crops and products abroad.  Through cutting-edge, unprecedented trade agreements with the Asia Pacific region and the European Union, we are determined to help farmers and ranchers sell more Made-in-America exports to the world.”
“It’s great to connect Wisconsin farmers, workers and businesses with America’s top trade negotiator to chart a path that will keep America competitive in the 21st century economy,” said Representative Ron Kind. “We currently have a trade surplus in agriculture, manufacturing and services with countries that have trade agreements with the U.S., and Wisconsin’s agricultural exports increased by 25 percent in the first three months of 2014 compared to last year. That’s good news for Wisconsin, and I’m committed to working with President Obama and Ambassador Froman on a fair trade agenda that will create Wisconsin jobs, raise labor and environmental standards, and reinforce America’s standing in the world.”
Tens of thousands of jobs are supported by Wisconsin exports.  Wisconsin is also the second-largest exporter of dairy in the United States.  In 2012, Wisconsin exported $724 million worth of dairy products – 14% of American total dairy exports. 
TPP and T-TIP hold great promise for Wisconsinites because they will knock down barriers to a number of different countries, including four out of Wisconsin’s five largest export markets – Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the European Union.  

Earlier today Ambassador Froman and Rep. Kind held a roundtable with local business leaders at the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce and met with Wisconsin labor representatives to hear their input about U.S. trade policy. 
For a fact sheet about Wisconsin, the economic benefits of exporting, and President Obama’s trade agenda, click here.