(August 14, 2012) The California Chamber of Commerce is supporting participation by Canada and Mexico in a proposed trade agreement whose current members account for more than $14 billion in California exports.
The CalChamber submitted comments on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement in response to a request by the U.S. Trade Representative for comments on negotiating objectives regarding Canada’s and Mexico’s participation in the proposed agreement.
Leaders of the nine current Trans-Pacific Partnership countries—Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States—have announced the broad outlines of an ambitious, high-standard, regional, 21st-century agreement.
The CalChamber supports new countries joining the Trans-Pacific agreement as long as participants comply with current international norms and obligations, and commit to the high standards currently being negotiated for trade and investment, as well as intellectual property protection and enforcement. Agreements like this ensure that the United States may continue to gain access to world markets, which will result in an improved economy and additional employment of Americans.
Companies and organizations are encouraged to submit letters by September 4 for a September 21 hearing on Mexico's participation and a September 24 hearing on Canada's participation.
Below is further information:
Requests for Comments: Negotiating Objectives With Respect to Mexico's Participation in the Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement
Requests for Comments: Negotiating Objectives With Respect to Canada's Participation in the Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement
The CalChamber Coalition for Free Trade, a broad-based group of companies and business organizations working to secure a national free trade agenda, also is preparing comments.
Besides being large export markets for the United States, Canada and Mexico are allies and close partners on major global issues. The CalChamber believes participation by Canada and Mexico in the proposed Trans-Pacific agreement would only further enhance this strong relationship.
Canada and Mexico are prepared to stand alongside the United States as some of the most ambitious countries in the TPP negotiations and are committed to discussing all topics at the table.
The Asia-Pacific region is a key driver of global economic growth, representing nearly 60% of global gross domestic product and roughly 50% of international trade. Since 1990, Asia-Pacific goods trade has increased by 300%, while global investment in the region has increased by more than 400%. U.S. trade with Asian countries totals nearly $1 trillion annually.
Even though U.S. exports to Asia continue to rise, the United States is gradually losing market share. Asian countries have negotiated more than 160 trade agreements among themselves, while the United States has signed only three (with Korea, Singapore and Australia). The agreement will help maintain America’s leadership position in an increasingly competitive global environment.
As the state covering the majority of the West Coast (for the lower 48 states), California has much to gain with the Trans-Pacific agreement.
Adding Canada and Mexico to the Trans-Pacific agreement will benefit California and the United States as a whole.
The CalChamber, 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.
Staff Contact: Susanne Stirling