(Remarks as prepared)
I would like to thank the U.S. Business Coalition for TPP for holding this event today to build support for TPP.
America’s future economic growth and prosperity depends on our ability to trade and invest more throughout the Asia-Pacific region. This is why concluding the TPP negotiations is so crucial. A successful TPP will deepen our economic relations in this fast-growing part of the world and allow us to connect our Asian and Latin American trading partners. TPP will also provide the U.S. with a critical counterbalance to China’s influence in the region.
Our vision is that TPP will combine the successes of past trade agreements with new approaches to meet the challenges to trade and investment in the 21st century. Like our other trade agreements, TPP will open markets for U.S. goods, services, agricultural products, and investment by knocking down tariffs and other trade barriers. It will also build on past work to eliminate discriminatory standards and rules, non-science based sanitary and phytosanitary standards, and inadequate protection of intellectual property rights.
I see TPP as a 21st-century agreement, tackling cross-cutting and new emerging issues to streamline trade and define economic competition in the future. These issues include improving foreign regulatory practices, recognizing the importance of efficient supply chains, and addressing market distortions by state-owned enterprises.
Another strength of the TPP is that countries willing to meet its standards can join over time. As a result, I welcome the interest expressed by Canada, Japan, and Mexico in joining TPP. However, new entrants must not result in lowering the ambition of TPP or delaying its conclusion. Each of the potential new TPP members must also be willing to resolve any outstanding bilateral issues. Allowing these issues to remain unresolved is contrary to the high standards and high ambition of TPP.
Trade Promotion Authority is also needed for TPP, to provide certain rules for Congressional consideration. I support TPA for any President because it gives us the tools to move more job-creating trade agreements.
My hope is that the TPP talks are finished quickly this year. We can’t afford to slow down our efforts toward achieving a robust agreement. We have the momentum and the ambitious initiatives to make this year a banner year for trade. That is why we need to quickly conclude a high standard, 21st century TPP agreement as quickly as possible.