JANESVILLE, WI This morning, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke with WRJNs Mike Clemens about Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the importance of expanding U.S. trade.
On America writing the rules of the global economy, not China:
China is trying to write the rules of the global economy to try and meet Chinas demands, not ours. So its really kind of a race for who writes the rules for the global economy: the U.S. and our allies, or China.
We have an opportunity to get 11 other pacific nations to get an agreement with America to write the rules of the global economy to meet American standards, to bring these countries to our standards, which will serve as a counterweight against China. More importantly, it is opening up these markets to other countries like Japan. We already give these countries access to our markets. If you go into Farm and Fleet, youll be able to find a lot of products made in Australia and Japan and Malaysia and all these countries. But you go to their countries, you wont see as many American products.
We think this is really important, because nearly 95 percent of the worlds consumers dont live in America. They live in other countries. And if we want more jobs, we need to make more things in America and sell them overseas. One in five jobs in America is already tied to trade right now. So we need to open these markets and we need to write the rules so it benefits us. And these jobs, on average, pay more than average jobs. If we want good paying jobs and more of them, we need to open up the market and we need to see the challenge to China for what it is.
On expanding foreign markets for U.S. products:
Forty percent of the global economy is represented by 11 countries, including America. They would be huge markets for our products so we could sell more, get more customers and therefore get more jobs here in Wisconsin. We dont have those markets open to us in any appreciable extent. So we need to get an agreement to open those markets and we need to have the countries agree to a common set of rules so that we can have this kind of trade, which right now we dont have.
And lets take Asia for example. There have been 48 trade agreements put in place in Asia since the year 2000. The U.S. has been a party to two of them. As a result, our share of exports over there has gone down 42 percent. So if you arent getting these agreements for your country, youre losing and other countries are getting your market share. We have to get ahead of that so we can have better products for our markets and sell them overseas. If we dont get these kinds of agreements, the challenge or the pressure is for U.S. companies to manufacture in those countries in order to sell in those countries. We need trade agreements that remove the barriers and let us make it over here and send it over there.
How trade will benefit the U.S. service industry:
This agreement is for both manufacturing and services. We typically run surpluses in services. If you take a look at all the countries we have trade agreements with, we have a manufacturing surplus. If you add the country we do not have trade agreements with, like China, we have a big deficit. So when we get these agreements we get other countries to play by our rules, to equal the playing field. We win. We sell more things. Service markets are basically blocked when we dont have good agreements that will recognize our service economy. Thats why we need this agreement, so we can fix not just our manufacturing, but our services as well.