by John Neuffer, President and CEO
During tonight’s State of the Union address, President Obama outlined a vision for America’s future that includes priorities of great significance to the tech industry. SIA applauds the President’s support for policies to advance U.S. innovation. We also strongly support his call for congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an enormous, landmark trade agreement that would strengthen the U.S. economy, bolster America’s global technology leadership, and help ensure the United States writes the rules for 21st Century trade.
Free trade is critical to U.S. jobs and economic growth because 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. The TPP would promote free trade and ensure that more products made in America – including semiconductors and other tech products – can be shipped to customers around the world unencumbered by tariffs and other trade barriers. This is especially critical to our industry because semiconductors are America’s third-largest manufactured export. Revenue from overseas customers can be invested in new jobs, equipment, and research here in the United States, advancing economic growth and innovation in the process.
Just as importantly, the TPP would set the rules of the road for trade in the 21st Century. Trade is done differently in today’s digital economy, where goods are shipped through digital pipelines rather than just on supertankers. It’s important for trade agreements to keep pace. The TPP reflects the global trade priorities of today and tomorrow, rather than those of yesterday. It creates high-standard rules that are fair and forward leaning, rather than rules that threaten to chop up the world into small pieces. It also sends a resounding message to competitors abroad that market-based rules of the road must rule the day.
Approving the TPP would ensure the United States remains a leader in writing these new rules, not a bystander. America has led the way in writing the rules for free trade for decades, and we have a chance to do so again through the TPP.
The TPP is good for the semiconductor industry, the tech sector, the American economy, and the global economy. Congress should approve it.
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