For every $1 billion in goods we export, that translates into more than 6,000 additional jobs here at home and $1 billion of services exports supports 4,500 jobs, according to the U.S. Trade Representative.
And keep in mind that, as the U.S. economy looks to regain a solid footing, forecasters expect the Asia-Pacific Rim region to grow about 6.5 percent in 2013, lucrative markets for exports.
One of the most important features of the TPP is its strengthened focus on supply chains, which includes improved customs provisions and enhanced protections for U.S. transportation companies competing in foreign markets.
The TPP should use the recently approved free trade pacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea as the baseline and then seek to go even further to enhance supply chain efficiency.
Separate customs procedures for expedited shipments and higher thresholds for duty-free treatment at the border are two examples of policies that can save millions of dollars in bureaucratic red tape, free up scarce border resources and improve efficiency.
Another major element of the trade negotiations that has drawn attention is the issue of state-owned enterprises, which may benefit from various forms of government support and give them an unfair advantage over competitors that do not receive such backing.
The TPP will impose certain disciplines on state-owned enterprises so that companies from the treaty member countries can compete on a level playing field.
The final element of the TPP that warrants our support is the fact that it will be a living document that is open to expansion to other countries—a rarity among trade pacts. Already major economies are at the table but there’s potential to add more countries. For example, Japan, the No. 2 world economy, is among the countries which could be subsequently added.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership represents more than 40 percent of global trade. This agreement is our best chance to further streamline and expand these critical trade lanes. We need to keep the level of ambition as high as possible and use this opportunity to upgrade and modernize the rules of trade to match the 21st Century business environment.
We are close to the finish line after San Diego. Let’s do the hard work now to push this agreement across the goal line so that we can help our economy fire on all cylinders again.
Michael L. Ducker is COO and President, International, FedEx Express. The opinions expressed here are his own.