Central Ohio Congressman Pat Tiberi toured Screen Machine Industries, Etna, Ohio, to gauge the impact of upcoming international trade legislation on Ohio jobs.
Screen Machine Industries has experienced tremendous growth from exports over the past few years. Lifting trade barriers will create new opportunities to establish dealer relationships in markets otherwise unapproachable, according to the company.
With 96 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the United States, for American exporters to grow, they need barriers knocked down to access those consumers.
"Two trade agreements that the United States is currently negotiating would give American exporters access to one billion new customers," said Matt Johnson, director of marketing. "Trade supports one in five jobs in Ohio and trade-related jobs are growing rapidly. While overall employment declined in Ohio between 2004 and 2013, trade-related jobs grew by 19 percent. While Ohio companies export to more than 200 countries, over half of all exports go to our trade partners. The United States has trade agreements with only 20 nations. If we grow our amount of trade partners, we’ll expand our exports."
For the United States to be in the best possible negotiating position, Congress needs to pass trade promotion authority, or TPA, Johnson added. "TPA inserts accountability and transparency into the negotiating process by putting Congress in the driver’s seat in outlining the types of trade agreements Congress will or won’t consider. TPA ensures that trade agreements are made available for the general public to review at least 60 days before the president finalizes it and before Congress even considers it," he said.