International Trade

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Overview

California is one of the 10 largest economies in the world with a gross state product of more than $2 trillion.

According to a California state government international trade and investment study, “International trade and investment is a major economic engine for the state of California that broadly benefits businesses, communities, consumers and state government. As has been described at length in other reports, California’s economy is more diversified than ever before, and the state’s prosperity is tied to exports and imports of both goods and services by California-based companies, to exports and imports through California’s transportation gateways, and to inflows and outflows of human and capital resources.”

Although trade is a nationally determined policy issue, its impact on California is immense. California exports to approximately 229 foreign markets. Trade offers the opportunity to expand the role of California’s exports. In its broadest terms, trade can literally feed the world and raise the living standards of those around us. International Trade 

CalChamber International Affairs and Resources

Goal

Work with state and federal administrations and lawmakers to support expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad, and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.

Leading California Export Countries

Major Victories

  • Backed federal legislation signed into law to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im), which helps export financing for small and large firms, with small businesses accounting for more than 87% of transactions.

  • Supported federal law extending permanent normal trade relations with Russia, thereby enabling U.S. and California companies to compete in the growing and profitable Russian marketplace by gaining the benefits of market-opening reforms that were part of Russia joining the World Trade Organization.

  • The CalChamber was part of broad-based coalitions whose five-year campaigns secured congressional passage in 2011 of free trade agreements with Korea, Panama and Colombia, estimated to increase U.S. exports by billions of dollars and improve the jobs climate.

Position

The California Chamber of Commerce, in keeping with long-standing policy, enthusiastically supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad, and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.
 
Recognizing the current state and federal trade deficits, the CalChamber:
  • supports reducing the federal budget deficit by controlling federal spending; 

  • supports efforts to achieve and maintain a stable and competitive relationship between the U.S. dollar and the currencies of major trading partners;

  • supports actions designed to eliminate barriers that impede U.S. and California commerce domestically and abroad by aggressively negotiating fair and equitable market access for California agriculture, and manufactured products and services by aggressively negotiating to reduce trade barriers; and

  • promotes educating California’s citizens, legislators and businesses about the benefit of trade to the state economy.

The CalChamber:

  • opposes protectionist-oriented legislation that leads to higher prices and limited choices for consumers. The negative impact of this sort of policy often expands to include job loss in related industries, retaliation by our trade partners and violations in WTO provisions;

  • opposes state and local legislation that impose sanctions on businesses engaged in international trade, and/or conflicts with federal international policies; and

  • supports legislation that allows California companies to compete more effectively in foreign markets, as well as to attract foreign business to California.

Issue Summaries

Export-Import Bank of the United States
Position: 
The California Chamber of Commerce, in keeping with long-standing policy, enthusiastically supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business. Export-Import Bank of the United States

Trade Promotion Authority
Position:  The California Chamber of Commerce, in keeping with long-standing policy, enthusiastically supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.

The CalChamber, therefore, supports the extension of trade promotion authority so that the President of the United States may negotiate new multilateral, sectoral and regional trade agreements, ensuring that the United States may continue to gain access to world markets, resulting in an improved economy and additional employment of Americans. Trade Promotion Authority

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
Position: The California Chamber of Commerce, in keeping with long-standing policy, enthusiastically supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business. New multilateral, sectoral and regional trade agreements ensure that the United States may continue to gain access to world markets, resulting in an improved economy and additional employment of Americans.

Strengthening economic ties and enhancing trans-Atlantic regulatory cooperation through an agreement that would include both goods and services, including financial services, are essential to eliminating unnecessary regulatory divergence that may act as a drag on economic growth and job creation. Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership  

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
Position: The California Chamber of Commerce, in keeping with long-standing policy, enthusiastically supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business. New multilateral, sectoral and regional trade agreements ensure that the United States may continue to gain access to world markets, resulting in an improved economy and additional employment of Americans.

The TPP agreement is important as a vehicle for Trans-Pacific-wide economic integration. This regional agreement sets a high standard that will enhance the competitiveness of the countries that are part of it and help facilitate trade and promote investment between them, increasing their economic growth and development. Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

World Trade Organization
Position: The California Chamber of Commerce, in keeping with long-standing policy, enthusiastically supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.

The WTO is having a tremendous impact on how California producers of goods and services compete in overseas markets, as well as domestically, and is creating jobs and economic growth through expanded international trade and investment.

The WTO gives businesses improved access to foreign markets and better rules to ensure that competition with foreign businesses is conducted fairly. World Trade Organization

Related Top Stories & Videos

Policy Contact

Susanne Stirling
Vice President, International Affairs


 
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