Business Leaders Brief Administration on International Trade Policy

Senior Administration officials gather input from business leaders on how international trade policies affect businesses' bottom lines

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While negotiations for several international trade agreements are in progress, business leaders will meet with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Robert Holleyman, and other senior administration officials today to discuss how international trade policy affects their businesses.

"One of the best opportunities to create economic growth at home is to sell American goods and services to the 95 percent of global consumers who live outside our borders," said Secretary Pritzker. "In 2013, the U.S. achieved $2.3 trillion in exports, more than any other time in history, which supported 11.3 million American jobs. To give our businesses access to more markets and more customers, America must continue leading the world in negotiating high-standard trade agreements that reflect our values and set the rules for trade in the 21st century."

At a roundtable organized by the White House Business Council and Business Forward, the discussion will focus on the importance of government and businesses working together to help more American companies reach more international markets.

"Under President Obama's leadership, the U.S. is spearheading the most significant trade agenda in history," said Deputy USTR Holleyman. "I always appreciate the opportunity to hear directly from business leaders who are affected by international trade policies. By helping our businesses sell more exports abroad, United States trade policy can unlock opportunity, support well-paying jobs, and strengthen our middle class."

The discussion will touch on two significant trade agreements that the Administration is currently negotiating: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with countries in the Asia-Pacific region and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) with members of the European Union. These agreements would boost American competitiveness and help U.S. businesses access more markets abroad.

"For the first time, we have included small business in this kind of an agreement," said Administrator Contreras-Sweet. "With such a fast growing global market, there's significant untapped potential for exporting in the small business community. The policies we're discussing today would provide critical support for small businesses looking to expand their customer base."

"Simply put: Exporting expands the number of customers who can buy my products, so my sales are increasing faster and I've been able to hire more employees." said David Ickert, Vice President of Finance at Air Tractor, Inc. in Olney, Texas. "It was great to have the opportunity to brief the Obama Administration on ways international trade policy can better support my and others' international business activities."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 300,000 U.S. companies export their goods to international markets. Businesses that do export grow faster and are 8 percent less likely to declare bankruptcy than those that do not export.

About Business Forward

With the help of more than 50 of the world's most respected companies, Business Forward is making it easier for tens of thousands of business leaders from across America to advise Washington on how to create jobs and accelerate our economy. Business Forward is active in more than 100 cities and works with more than 450 senior Administration officials, Members of Congress, governors, and mayors.

To date, the organization has also brought more than 3,000 business leaders to the White House to brief the President's economic advisors. Business leaders who have participated in these briefings have seen their suggestions implemented in the Affordable Care Act, the Jobs Act, three trade agreements, and every one of the President's budgets. Many have also shared their recommendations with their representatives in Congress and through op-eds and interviews with local media. Ninety-eight out of 100 business leaders who have participated in a Business Forward briefing would be interested in participating in another one. For more information please visit


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