Benjamin Franklin, who helped negotiate the original trade treaties between America and Europe more than two centuries ago, gave the following advice: “To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”
Franklin was our first Ambassador, becoming U.S. Minister to France in 1776, long before our nation won its independence from Britain. He saw an opportunity to build a strong relationship with a powerful ally. Thanks to his work, the U.S. and France signed treaties in 1778 that gave our young army critical support and laid out the framework for a successful trading partnership.
We are here today because we have another opportunity: An opportunity to boost America’s economy – an opportunity to create thousands of new jobs across the United States. This opportunity lies in a new comprehensive trade agreement between the United States and the European Union.
It’s called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, and it’s an opportunity we must jump at quickly.
The U.S. and EU already enjoy the strongest economic relationship in the world. Together we make up half of global GDP and more than a third of global trade. Every day, the U.S. and EU trade $2.7 billion in goods and services. We have invested nearly $4 trillion in each other’s economies.
Transatlantic trade supports 13 million U.S. jobs, but we all know that we need more jobs, and better-paying jobs. This new opportunity – this new trade and investment agreement – would deliver those jobs we need.
This new trade agreement could boost exports to the EU by a third and add more than one hundred billion dollars annually to U.S. GDP. It could support hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the United States.
Jobs related to exports pay 13 to 18 percent more than the national average, and jobs supported by foreign direct investment in the United States pay 30 percent more than non-FDI supported jobs. When we lower trade barriers, we increase exports and attract foreign investment, and we provide America’s economy the shot in the arm it so desperately needs.
The benefits of TTIP would ripple across our nation. For example, in my home state of Montana, TTIP could grow exports to the EU by 19 percent and support nearly 2,400 new Montana jobs. Every state would have its own success stories.
How would TTIP do this? It would lower tariffs on our enormous bilateral trade, increasing U.S. exports by double digits and saving families money on the goods and services they buy here at home. It would cut red tape and reduce costs for businesses, such as auto makers, that currently face duplicative regulations in the EU and the United States. And it would spark investment and innovation that will bring jobs and growth on both sides of the Atlantic.
We’re talking about a landmark opportunity. But for the TTIP to live up to its potential, we’ll first have to tackle a number of challenges.
For example, we must address the EU’s unscientific and unjustified barriers to U.S. agricultural exports, including beef and poultry. While in Europe last year, I pushed their leaders to drop those barriers. U.S. beef has earned the top safety rating from the World Organization for Animal Health. And CODEX – another of the world’s trusted authorities on food safety – has declared U.S. beef production methods to be perfectly safe. It’s finally time for the EU to act.
I’m confident we can overcome that hurdle – and others. The more challenges we address in negotiating the TTIP, the bigger the gains will be for our two economies, boosting exports, attracting new investment, and creating new jobs.
The TTIP is just one part of the most ambitious U.S. trade agenda in a generation. Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. Our trade agenda today gives American farmers, ranchers, businesses and workers more opportunities to reach them than ever before.
It means Dave and Cole Mannix – two proud family ranchers from Helmville, Montana – can expand their market for some of the best-tasting beef that I’ve ever had. It means global brewers like Anheuser-Busch InBev can use more Montana malt barley in their beer. It means international companies like Siemens can have even more reason to work with educational institutions like Flathead Valley Community College to develop the skills of Montana’s workforce.
Congress needs to be a full partner in the development and execution of this agenda, and the best way to do that is to pass Trade Promotion Authority – and to do it soon.
The U.S has numerous other trade opportunities as well. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is near completion. The TPP parties just need to know in the clearest terms what Congress’ priorities are. And Congress needs to set priorities as the Administration starts negotiating with Europe. We can do that through Trade Promotion Authority. I’m pleased that President Obama has requested TPA and that Ambassador Froman has been making the case for TPA.
It’s time for us to do our part. We must introduce a bill and quickly pass it. Senator Hatch, let’s continue to work together to get that done as quickly as possible.
Ben Franklin counseled us to jump at opportunities. That’s advice we must heed – for very simple reasons. More trade means more American jobs. More trade means a stronger economy. More trade means a more secure future. So let us jump at this opportunity to expand the world’s largest trade relationship, let us do the hard work, and let us make the TTIP as meaningful as we can.