Congress has now approved a landmark trade package including Trade Promotion Authority and Trade Adjustment Assistance. This is a significant accomplishment that just a week ago looked in serious doubt.
This trade package will give President Obama the ability to conclude negotiations on the TransPacific Partnership; it gives Congress the authority to establish priorities in those negotiations, and it provides $1.8 billion for worker re-training.
Free trade supports American jobs. At our facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, for instance, some 4,500 plus jobs are supported by free trade, including hundreds of jobs at our technical assistance center. Put simply, our engineers in North Carolina couldn’t help customers in Europe, Asia and the Americas if data is not able move freely around the world. The TPA bill supports this kind of digital trade.
The economic impact of free trade goes well beyond one company or one industry. It affects every sector of every industry in the economy. According to the Business Roundtable, free trade supports 39.8 million jobs across the nation.
On behalf of Cisco, I’d like to thank President Obama for his leadership on trade, as well as Republican and Democratic members of both the House and the Senate for their courageous votes on this issue.
Enacting this legislation is a critical part of ensuring American competitiveness over the next generation.