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Media Coverage: CPA CEO Quoted in Inside US Trade Regarding Trump

November 23, 2016
CPA applauds President-elect Trump for keeping his campaign promise to withdraw from the TPP,” Stumo said on Nov. 22. “The TPP could not be fixed, so tweaking it was not a realistic option. If there was a mandate in this wave election, it was that the previously forgotten working class rightly rejected the globalist tendencies of both parties’ establishments. CPA will work with Mr. Trump to find ways to make and grow more in the US rather than promoting global supply chains.

[Jenny Leonard| November 22, 2016 |Inside US Trade]

President-elect Donald Trump's pledge to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership on day one was blasted this week by the Obama administration -- which called it “tragic” and “deeply disappointing” -- but TPP proponents on Capitol Hill are hopeful they can find a way to advance trade policy under President Trump.


“I would acknowledge that the prospects of TPP being ratified by this Congress or before President Obama leaves are not very good, and that's unfortunate,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Nov. 22.

“If Congress does not move forward with ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it is a significant missed opportunity for the American people, in part because there are some pretty clear signals from other TPP countries that they actually intend to move forward even if the United States does not. And that's gonna put U.S. businesses and workers at a disadvantage,” he continued.
“It's tragic to see that the policy that could have addressed some of those concerns be rolled back by the person who claims to share those concerns. That's deeply disappointing.”

In that same vein, Earnest cast doubt on the possibility of Capitol Hill TPP opponents developing an alternative policy approach that sufficiently addresses U.S. workers' fear of globalization.

“It will be difficult, I think, for frankly Democrats and Republicans in Congress who oppose the TPP, moving forward, to justify this inaction and to lay out some sort of coherent strategy for addressing these concerns,” Earnest said. “This administration pursued a coherent strategy, but it looks like that responsibility may fall to someone else. And they're gonna have a hard time putting together a coherent strategy with as much promise as the one that this administration has put forward.”

Asked if President Obama still plans to submit a TPP statement of administrative action or draft implementing bill to Congress before he leaves office, Earnest told reporters, “I don't have any future steps to preview for you.”

In response to Trump's Nov. 21 TPP pledge, made in a video on his emerging policy plans, House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) -- two outspoken supporters of TPP -- emphasized their belief in a need for U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific to increase American global competitiveness.

“I respect President-elect Trump for fulfilling his campaign promise to withdraw from TPP, but I am convinced that we have to reach these customers if we want to get America's economy moving again,” Brady said in a Nov. 22 statement.

“Beyond fixing America's broken tax code and lifting regulation from our local businesses, America needs more customers. The Asia-Pacific region is loaded with customers -- soon home to nearly half of the middle class consumers on the planet. For America's economy to grow we cannot simply buy American products -- we must also sell American products in growing markets around the world including the Asia-Pacific. We can't abandon these markets to China and other competitors because American businesses and customers will lose out,” he added.

Hatch -- reiterating his commitment “to advancing a strong Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that meets the standards of Trade Promotion Authority” -- pledged to work with the Trump administration to push the U.S. trade agenda.

“While it appears that there is no viable path forward for the [TPP] this year, I remain committed to working with my colleagues in Congress and the new administration to advance strong trade policies that will enhance America’s global competitiveness, increase access to new, international markets, and ensure we secure the best possible trade deals for American workers and entrepreneurs,” Hatch said in a Nov. 22 statement to Inside U.S. Trade.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association -- while noting its disappointment in Trump's decision -- echoed the lawmakers' push for U.S. access to global markets and supply chains.

“While we are disappointed with President-elect Trump’s statement that he will withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have provided substantial benefits for our industry and economy, we are encouraged that he will continue to pursue bilateral trade deals going forward,” AAFA said in a statement. “Access to global markets and global supply chains remains critical to the competitiveness of the U.S. apparel and footwear industry.”

Coalition for a Prosperous America CEO Michael Stumo, in a statement to Inside U.S. Trade, lauded Trump's move and said the
organization will work with the president-elect to grow the U.S. economy, but stressed that effort would not involve promoting global supply chains.

“CPA applauds President-elect Trump for keeping his campaign promise to withdraw from the TPP,” Stumo said on Nov. 22. “The TPP could not be fixed, so tweaking it was not a realistic option. If there was a mandate in this wave election, it was that the previously forgotten working class rightly rejected the globalist tendencies of both parties’ establishments. CPA will work with Mr. Trump to find ways to make and grow more in the US rather than promoting global supply chains.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) warned that the U.S. withdrawal from TPP will have negative repercussions not only for the U.S. economy but also for its national security -- echoing one of the Obama administration's talking points in its attempts to sell the deal.

“Whatever happens to TPP, America must press forward with a positive trade agenda in the Asia-Pacific that will keep American workers and companies competitive in one of the most economically vibrant and fastest-growing regions in the world,” McCain said in a Nov. 22 statement. “But have no doubt, withdrawing from TPP will have serious consequences for American workers and American national security.”

Brady -- who earlier this month urged Trump not to withdraw from TPP but instead suggested he renegotiate the agreement -- again offered advice to the president-elect, who -- according to Brady -- has “exceptional negotiating skills.”

“Our new president has exceptional negotiating skills. As he examines new and old trade agreements, my advice is simple: keep what works for America, fix what doesn't but keep us in those regions fighting for new sales and new U.S. jobs,” Brady said. “As we work together, President-elect Trump and the Republican Congress will deliver on a stronger economy.” -- Jenny Leonard (jleonard@iwpnews.com)

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