Almost 300 groups, including four South Carolina chambers of commerce, recently endorsed the Trade Priorities and Accountability (TPA) act introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 16.
"Our chambers of commerce, manufacturing organizations, and farm bureaus represent millions of companies, workers, farmers and ranchers from every sector of the economy and every state in the union," the groups wrote in a letter sent to congressional leaders.
Parties to the letter ranged from small businesses and workers to farms and ranches. They hope to raise awareness that job creation and local enterprises can fall behind without support.
"Trade agreements negotiated and concluded under TPA help drive economic growth and job creation here at home," the letter stated. "They enable manufacturers, service providers, farmers and ranchers across the country to reach the 95 percent of the world’s customers who live outside our borders. One in four manufacturing jobs in the United States depends on exports, and one in every three acres of farmland is planted for consumers overseas. More than 97 percent of the 300,000 U.S. companies that export are small and medium-sized businesses."
While the domestic market is open, the letter noted that national exports face obstacles in global markets, alleging that the international arena is biased against U.S. businesses and workers. The group urged Congress to act quickly on approving the act, which would provide clear congressional negotiating objectives for trade talks and require that Congress be kept in the loop when it comes to trade negotiations.
South Carolina participants included the Fountain Inn, Myrtle Beach Area, North Myrtle Beach and South Carolina Chambers of Commerce
Additionally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a chart illustrating how free trade in the form of merchandise and service exports directly supports a total of 51,083 South Carolina jobs: http://www.tradesupportsjobs.com/state/SC