WASHINGTON — U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman told the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Wednesday that domestic and foreign investors are increasingly becoming interested in the U.S. Froman pledged to use President Obama’s trade agenda to promote Made in America products and open new markets for U.S. exports.
Mayors attending a winter meeting here in turn pledged their support to help the Obama administration lobby Congress to pass trade promotion authority legislation, which would give the U.S. more leverage in negotiating trade deals, and also vowed their support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact between the U.S. and 11 countries.
Lawmakers introduced legislation in the House and Senate earlier this month to renew TPA, but there has been vocal opposition from key Democrats in both chambers, which could make passage more difficult.
“Every billion-dollar increase in exports supports 4,000 to 5,000 new jobs,” Froman said. “That’s why we are so focused on opening markets for Made in America exports. When we are done with these agreements — TPP and T-TIP [the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the U.S. and the European Union] — we will have free trade with somewhere between 65 and 75 percent of the world, and…that makes this the production platform of choice.”
Froman said he visits with companies from Europe, Asia and Latin America every week who tell him the U.S. is becoming a more attractive place to invest for several reasons, including the rule of law, a skilled workforce, entrepreneurial culture, affordable energy costs and new trade deals being negotiated.
“This is where they want to put the next factory, and they want to use the U.S. as a place to produce and export from to 128 more countries,” Froman said. “So our trade policy is a key part of our overall inward investment strategy…to attract investment to the U.S.”