US Business Letter to USTR on TPP, Feb. 20, 2014

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The Honorable Michael Froman
United States Trade Representative
Office of the United States Trade Representative 600 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20508

Dear Mr. Ambassador:

The undersigned organizations are strong supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. The TPP has the potential to be a transformative trade agreement that creates jobs and economic growth and that becomes the magnet for future global trade liberalization.

A high-standard TPP will establish new norms and expectations for world-class rules in future trade agreements, not just in Asia, but globally. However, this potential will not be realized unless all participants are prepared to support a comprehensive agreement in which all countries agree to eliminate tariffs, as well as non-tariff barriers to trade in goods and services and investment.

For example, while every nation has sensitive sectors, we are very concerned that neither Japan nor Canada has been willing to offer comprehensive market-access liberalization. According to published reports, both countries seem intent on preserving the status quo for their most protected sectors.

Specifically, the scope and degree of market-access coverage reportedly offered by these two nations would be a significant step backward compared to prior U.S. trade agreements. Not only would the tariff barriers that Japan seeks to maintain be unprecedented, but they are in the very sectors that have the greatest potential for future trade growth between the United States and Japan.

The TPP must produce comprehensive market-access benefits with respect to tariffs, non-tariff barriers, services, and investment. In addition, it must address a range of existing and emerging issues that are critically important to the future of U.S. competitiveness, such as cross-border data flows, competition from state-owned enterprises, and the protection of intellectual property rights and investment. A failure to do so would establish adverse precedent, particularly if other important trading nations accede to the TPP in the future.

We therefore urge you to insist on comprehensive and highly ambitious outcomes in the TPP, both with respect to market access and with respect to rules that will level the playing field. An agreement of that kind will receive our enthusiastic support.

Sincerely,

American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) American Farm Bureau Federation
American Feed Industry Association
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) American Meat Institute
American Peanut Council
American Peanut Product Manufacturers, Inc.
American Soybean Association
Animal Health Institute
Coalition of Services Industries (CSI)
Corn Refiners Association
Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT)
Express Association of America (EAA)
Fashion Accessories Shippers Association (FASA) International Dairy Foods Association
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
National Chicken Council
National Confectioners Association
National Corn Growers Association
National Foreign Trade Council
National Grain and Feed Association
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Pork Producers Council
National Potato Council
National Renderers Association
National Retail Federation
North American Export Grain Association
North American Meat Association
Pet Food Institute
Retail Industry Leaders Association
Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) Sweetener Users Association
TechAmerica
Travel Goods Association (TGA)
United States Council for International Business
United States Fashion Industry Association
United States | New Zealand Council
US-ASEAN Business Council
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Grains Council
U.S. Wheat Associates

 

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