On Thursday, June 27, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) led a group of 35 freshman Republican Members of Congress to send a letter to Michael Froman, the United States Trade Representative, calling for an expansion of trade to increase economic growth and create jobs across the country.
"Ninety-five percent of the world's customers live outside of the United States and we believe that with a level playing field, our products and producers can compete with anyone in the world," said Davis. "That's why it is so vital to local companies like Caterpillar, GSI and ADM for us to continue to pursue an ambitious trade agenda. In the last Congress, Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama and Korea were enacted and the 113th Congress presents us with further opportunities to grow our export markets and create jobs in Illinois."
The full text of the letter is as follows:
Dear Ambassador Froman,
Congratulations on your confirmation as United States Trade Representative. We write to you as new Members of the House of Representatives who strongly believe that expanding trade will increase economic growth and create jobs across the United States. Markets outside of the United States represent 80% of the world's purchasing power, 92% of its economic growth, and 95% of its consumers. As a result, the economic opportunities are immense, and many Americans are already taking advantage of them. Currently, one-in-three manufacturing jobs depend on exports, and one-in-three acres on American farms is planted for hungry consumers overseas.
We applaud the Administration's ambitious free and fair trade agenda, which aims to create new opportunities for and protect American workers, farmers, manufacturers, innovators, and service providers by opening markets around the world. We stand ready to work with you on negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the Trade in Services Agreement, among other trade initiatives. These negotiations provide an opportunity to include strong, ambitious, and enforceable provisions that would eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers for U.S. exports of goods, services and agricultural products, as well as ensure strong intellectual property (IP) protections.
Lastly, we look forward to moving Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which clarifies the executive-legislative partnership on trade negotiations. TPA requires the executive branch to consult with Congress during negotiations while ensuring that agreements receive an up-or-down vote. Historically, every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has had Trade Promotion Authority.
We look forward to working with you to continue building upon the bipartisan support for trade we have seen in Congress over the past few years. As we seek ways to drive economic growth and job creation, it is more important than ever to level the playing field for trade and open markets abroad.
Signatories of the letter are Congressmen Rodney Davis (Ill.), David Valadao (Calif.), Chris Stewart (Utah), Trey Radel (Fla.), Luke Messer (Ind.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Jackie Walorski (Ind.), Ann Wagner (Mo.), Doug Collins (Ga.), Mark Meadows (N.C.), David Joyce (Ohio), Kevin Cramer (N.D.), Susan Brooks (Ind.), Matt Salmon (Ariz.), Andy Barr (Ky.), Tom Rice (S.C.), Doug LaMalfa (Calif.), Kerry Bentivolio (Mich.), Richard Hudson (N.C.), Steve Daines (Mont.), Brad Wenstrup (Ohio), Markwayne Mullin (Okla.), Roger Williams (Texas), Steve Stockman (Texas), Jim Bridenstine (Okla.), Robert Pittenger (N.C.), Jason Smith (Mo.), Randy Weber (Texas), Mark Sanford (S.C.), Ron DeSantis (Fla.), George Holding (N.C.), Scott Perry (Pa.), Ted Yoho (Fla.), Paul Cook (Calif.) and Keith Rothfus (Pa.).