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Excerpts of Remarks by United States Trade Representative Michael Froman at the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) Annual Awards Dinner

Excerpts of Remarks by United States Trade Representative Michael Froman

Washington International Trade Association (WITA) Annual Awards Dinner
Washington, D.C.
July 17, 2013

“I’m honored to receive this award in the company of Chairman Camp and Congressman Meeks.

“Both of these leaders have served as vocal trade advocates at a time when our country has needed them most, and they’ve worked across the aisle to bring home the benefits of our trade agreements and make sure that American businesses have a fair shot at competing in the global economy. I thank them for their leadership and look forward to working with them over the course of my service as United States Trade Representative.”

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“All of you gathered in this room are here because you believe that trade matters, and you understand how critical it is to sustaining our economic recovery. Our collective charge - because we are all trade ambassadors - is to sound this message loud and clear across our communities; our town hall meetings, our boardrooms, our factory floors, think tanks, and classrooms, and get the American people as excited as we are about executing trade policy that works.

“Every one of us in this room tonight can say it: I have my job, here in America, because of global trade. But too often, our fellow citizens think we're the only ones: negotiators and civil servants, business executives and consultants.

“But we know that a man or woman supporting his or her family with a job at a manufacturing plant is doing so thanks in part to global trade, to the agreements we've struck to open markets and further strengthen the role of the United States in global supply chains.

“We know that young people designing new software and people working at logistics firms have their jobs in part due to global trade, to the competitiveness of our services providers around the world, and to the new opportunities we are creating every day for them to enjoy.

“We know that America’s farmers and ranchers, whether they grow wheat in the heartland or fruit in the Pacific Northwest or raise cattle in the Great Plains or chickens in Delaware, can credit global trade and the work that we do as a contributor to their incomes and financial stability.

“And just as importantly, we know that Americans at tire factories have their jobs back thanks to a renewed commitment to enforce our trade rights.

“This is a story we need to tell outside this room.”

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“To put it simply, trade policy matters, and we must convey the message that our competitiveness hinges on our ability to get trade agreements done, and done right.

“At the same time, we must make the case for trade as a critical tool for building the markets of tomorrow far from our own shores - a tool for development, ending poverty and creating paths to sustained economic growth in parts of the world where the entrepreneurial spirit is strong, and opportunities for investment are growing.

“I want to ask you to join me in spreading the message that trade policy matters, not only as a driver of recovery now and a mainstay of U.S. economic stability into the future, but as the provider of jobs for Americans and prosperity for their communities.”