Jay Timmons' Remarks at TPA Press Conference (Washington, D.C.)

Good morning. Thank you Senator Cornyn and Senator Carper for hosting us today. And thank you for your principled leadership and for actions—like your steadfast support of Trade Promotion Authority—that back up your commitment for manufacturing and all job creators in the United States.

We need more leaders like you in the United States Congress who step up, stand strong, and step ahead for the people who put America to work.

It’s great to be with you, on behalf of the more than 14,000 builders, dreamers, and doers who are a part of the National Association of Manufacturers and the 12 million citizens we represent across our country who make their living in industry and whose futures are tied to our nation’s ability to open new markets and sell our products overseas.

This need applies to both small and medium-sized manufacturers, who make up more than 96 percent of all exporters in the United States—like BTE Technologies, which employees 100 Americans, represented here today by its president and a member of the NAM Executive Committee, Chuck Wetherington. And trade, of course, is just as important to global companies who employ millions in the United States—like Samsung, with a high-volume manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas, a subsidiary headquarters in Richardson, Texas, and a new 1.1 million square foot research and development headquarters coming on-line in San Jose, California.

It’s time we go beyond words. That we don’t just clearly say, but demonstrate that America is ready to be a leader in the global economy. That we will strengthen our competition for new business and access to more consumers. And that we are serious about expanding the greatest force for prosperity, opportunity, and upward mobility.

That is why we are here, that is why I have in my hand another letter from 76 varied manufacturing sectors, to call on Congress to unleash the potential of trade with the swift passage of Trade Promotion Authority—to give the hardest working, …most productive, …and most innovative people in the world the chance to continue leading the globe.

Today, manufacturers in the United States are powering an economic revival, generating more than $2 trillion to the U.S. economy for the first time ever.  But we cannot sustain this momentum without competing to win where 95 percent of the world’s consumers live: outside of the United States.

We’re falling behind by standing still. As Canada, China, Europe, and other countries enter into many more new trade agreements than the United States, the cost of American-made manufactured products goes up because those agreements give preferences to foreign manufacturing and exclude ours.

Renewal of TPA will spur action on a new round of trade agreements to sell more of our products to other countries, benefiting manufacturers and ensuring that the manufacturing resurgence we have witnessed in recent years doesn’t stop. TPA will help level the playing field for our businesses overseas, where high tariffs and other barriers keep the things we make unsold. TPA will also make certain that Congress has its rightful place at the negotiating table, to hold the president accountable and secure the best deal possible.

Present company excluded, we need our elected officials to stop with the myths about free trade. Protectionist policies do not work and harm Americans trying to get back to work, to keep their jobs, take care of their families, and make this nation better for future generations.

Simply put: TPA means more higher paying jobs, more growth, and more prosperity for all Americans. The time is now.

In the days ahead, manufacturers across the country will continue to rally for TPA renewal. This is another important vote—to decide who is squarely on the side of America’s economic future. We look forward to continuing to work with Senators Cornyn and Carper, and all who are willing to stand with America’s job creators.

And now I’ll turn it over to Chuck Wetherington to talk more about how TPA not only opens markets but also opportunities for small manufacturers just like BTE Technologies.