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Ambassador Kirk Visits the Third Way to Discuss Trans-Pacific Partnership

12/12/2012 - 6:29pm

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will help grow the American economy and support American jobs by increasing exports and opening up markets. That’s the message U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk shared with small business owners, academics, CEOs, and members of the press attending a breakfast briefing hosted by the Third Way policy center earlier this week.

Ambassador Kirk emphasized that the potential job and export benefits of a regional trade agreement are driving U.S. negotiators forward with a sense of urgency. The Asia-Pacific region now accounts for more than 40% of all global trade. Increasing U.S. exports to these growing markets would support jobs and businesses here at home.

Drew Greenblatt, owner of Marlin Steel (a Baltimore-based small business that produces steel wire), explained that new markets and more business opportunities mean the world to his company. According to Greenblatt, Marlin Steel doubled its workforce by expanding its exports to 36 countries around the world. A completed TPP would open up even more markets, and would enable Greenblatt to hire more American workers here at home.

Chuck Wetherington of BTE Technologies said he would benefit from the TPP’s market opening provisions. BTE’s experts work with software and mechanical engineers to design and sell physical therapy and rehabilitation equipment. Ten years ago, exports only accounted for a small portion of the company’s sales. Since then, BTE has also doubled the size of its workforce by increasing its exports to almost 40 countries. Wetherington said that better access to the growing Asia-Pacific market would go a long way toward boosting international sales even more.

Just as Greenblatt and Wetherington plan for future growth in the Asia-Pacific, TPP will help more small business owners tap into export markets and add jobs in their communities.