Manufacturing Faces of Trade: TPA Is Critical for Growth

The testimonials below are from manufacturers who are impacted by Trade Promotion Authority.

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CF Industries Donaldsonville Nitrogen Complex in Donaldsonville, Louisiana

Lou Frey, Vice President and General Manager

About 1,000 workers operate our facility, and a $2.1 billion capacity expansion project expected to finish next year will create nearly 100 more jobs at the plant and around 700 jobs in related industries.

As CF’s complex grows, we will have new opportunities to export — if we have fair access to markets overseas. That’s why the trade legislation currently being debated in Washington — the so-called Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) — is essential for CF Industries and towns like Donaldsonville to grow and develop....

To ensure open markets overseas will continue to benefit Louisiana and communities like Donaldsonville, Congress should pass the TPA legislation. TPA is a critical, pro-manufacturing piece of legislation that will make the products we produce in Donaldsonville more competitive overseas.

This is an excerpt from “Letters: The U.S. House of Representatives needs to support the Trade Promotion Authority because it helps the nation” in the New Orleans Advocate, originally published on June 11, 2015.  

Cummins Inc. in Jamestown, New York

Dave Crompton, President of Cummins Engine Business Unit

Many people are not aware that Congress is considering acting on a piece of legislation that will create new opportunities for New York farmers and job creators. While you most often hear about partisan fighting in Washington, this specific legislation is supported by both Republicans and Democrats. The legislation is Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and, if passed, it opens the door to new trade agreements enabling U.S. businesses to sell their goods and services to more customers around the globe.

This is important to all of us. Nearly 40 million U.S. jobs are supported by international trade, including jobs right here in New York....

This is a major piece of legislation that can help U.S. economic growth and support jobs for American workers and farmers, like the 1,500 Cummins employees at JEP and the 2.6 million New Yorkers across this state.

This is an excerpt from “Another Voice: Trade legislation will support millions of U.S. jobs” in The Buffalo News, originally published on June 5, 2015.  

Drake Manufacturing Services Co. in Warren, Ohio

James Vosmik, CEO and President

Reauthorizing TPA so Congress and the administration can craft a stronger TPP and other market-opening trade agreements, alongside supporting the renewal of the Ex-Im Bank, are vitally important to Northeast Ohio and our nation as a whole.

Our small company is a good example. We are a machine tool manufacturer. Your grandparents may remember when Cleveland was a global leader in machine tools. Warner & Swasey, Acme-Cleveland, Bardons & Oliver, and others built parts for the machines that won World War II, created the suburbs, and grew the middle class. Most disappeared in the 1970s and '80s, long before the North American Free Trade Agreement or other major trade agreements.

Drake, founded in Warren, Ohio, in 1972, slogged through booms and busts, oscillating between $3 million and 15 employees in slow times to $15 million and 45 employees in good times. In 1999, that began to change. Drake went international. And it worked.

This is an excerpt from “Trade pacts bring the Walmart money home for NE Ohio workers: James L. Vosmik (Opinion)” on, originally published on May 22, 2015.

BTE Technologies, Inc. in Hanover, Maryland

Chuck Wetherington, President

Prior [free trade] agreements had enabled his [Chuck Wetherington’s] Hanover, Maryland–based small business, BTE Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of equipment and advanced solutions for medical testing and rehabilitation, to sell its products to Canada and Mexico.

Post-ratification, South Korea quickly became one of BTE’s top markets with a free trade agreement in place. South Korean tariff rates for the medical devices BTE sells have dropped, helping the company compete against products from other countries. As a result, sales to the country are up 134 percent in the past two years alone.

“Seeing those strong gains has been very important for our business and for our 100 employees,” says Wetherington…

Wetherington’s experience has made him a firm believer in the power of TPA. He knows that TPA can help secure trade agreements that bypass uncertainty and result in great market gains. “I’d really like to see us begin to streamline our ability to do new trade agreements,” he says. “TPA is that vehicle.”

This is an excerpt from “Call to Action: It's Time to Pass Trade Promotion Authority” in Member Focus, originally published in March 2015.

United States of Trade: 50 Stories in 50 States

Rekluse Motor Sports in Idaho

From its headquarters in Boise, Idaho, Rekluse Motor Sports is at the forefront of the motorcycle industry in clutch performance technology and innovation.

“We have in-house research and development, so we would welcome the greater protection of intellectual property provided by trade agreements – as well as common product standards between countries and recognized patent registration.”

-Alison Kelsey, Export Manager

Draper Inc. in Indiana

With 500 employees, Draper Inc. is the largest private-sector employer in Henry County, Indiana. Started as a window shade manufacturer, Draper’s business has expanded to include projection screens, solar control coverings, and gym equipment.

“With approximately 10 percent of its revenue derived from exports, Draper would benefit greatly if the President were granted TPA. With TPA, Congress takes up the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

-Nate LaMar, International Regional Manager

Accumold in Iowa

Founded in 1985 near Des Moines, Accumold of Ankeny, Iowa, manufactures micro-sized plastic parts and components for various products including medical devices, consumer electronics, and micro optics.

“Accumold is fortunate to serve a global market from right here in central Iowa. Our team of dedicated employees help produce high-tech parts and components for products like medical devices, communications, and micro-electronics that benefit people worldwide.”

-Roger Hargens, President & CEO

Auburn Leather Company in Kentucky

Auburn Leather Company of Auburn, Kentucky, specializes in the manufacture of Genuine Rawhide Leather Laces for the footwear market, specialty leathers for sporting goods, and finished leather goods.

With export sales of $14.6 million in 2014, the company exports to 29 countries, including TPP partners Vietnam, Mexico, Canada, and Japan and T-TIP partners Netherland, France, Spain, Germany, the UK, Italy, Greece, and Ireland. Exports make up 78 percent of the company’s sales and directly support 86 of the company’s 110 employees.

These excerpts were published in “United States of Trade: 50 Stories in 50 States That Show the Impact of Trade Across the Nation,” published by the United States Department of Commerce and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Power Curbers Inc. in Salisbury, North Carolina

Dyke Messinger, President

In 1953, Power Curbers Inc. was founded in Salisbury by two businessmen with a design for the world’s first automatic curb machine, and has grown into one of the leading manufacturers of concrete paving machinery.

Our equipment can be found in more than 90 countries, helping create safer, more efficient infrastructure. Despite our success, we continue to face substantial barriers in international markets that make it difficult to compete globally.

Without these barriers, American industry succeeds. Trade Promotion Authority is a key negotiating tool that gives our negotiators maximum leverage to secure the best deal in trade agreements.

This is an excerpt from “TPA a key tool for trade negotiations” in the Salisbury Post, originally published on May 4, 2015.

Vermeer in Pella, Iowa

Daryl Bouwkamp, Senior Director of International Business Development

For some companies such as Vermeer Corp., trade has become increasingly important. The Pella manufacturer of environmental, mining, utility and agricultural equipment started serving a 10-mile radius in 1948 before expanding throughout Iowa, then to surrounding states and now around the world.

…Vermeer depends on exports for about 30 percent of its revenue, encompassing hundreds of millions of dollars across 80 countries, up from 5 percent a quarter century ago. In Pella alone, more than a third of its 2,600 workers have jobs dependent on international trade.

“It was either we go after it or foreign firms would do the same,” said Daryl Bouwkamp, Vermeer's senior director of international business development and government affairs. “We’re certainly an international business, and we view trade and exports … as an opportunity for Vermeer, for growth and for employment.” Bouwkamp said trade has a host of other benefits for Vermeer beyond jobs and growth. He said operating in several countries helps the company offset risk if one region is doing well while another is struggling. It also helps the company better spot trends, potential challenges and new ideas that can be incorporated into the business, allowing Vermeer to stay ahead of the competition.

This is an excerpt from “Trade deals could provide financial boon to Iowa economy” in the Des Moines Register, originally published on March 16, 2015.

Marlin Steel in Baltimore City, Maryland

Drew Greenblatt, President

…My business, Marlin Steel, manufactures custom steel wire baskets and sheet metal fabrications here in Baltimore City. Our products have a wide variety of uses, from the automotive, aerospace, medical and pharmaceutical industries. These products, stamped with the marker "Made in the USA," are exported to our clients in markets across the world such as China and Japan.

Today, we owe 20 percent of our jobs to our exports at Marlin Steel. We're not alone: businesses all across Maryland depend on trade and, like us, have seen the benefits of exporting their goods.

…Today, FTA trading partners are now Maryland's most vital: we currently export more than six times as many goods to FTA trading partners than non-FTA partners. So why would we not want to continue reducing trade barriers and boosting exports through more free trade?

…That's precisely why Congress needs to pass an updated TPA bill. It offers the U.S. the chance to make headway on trade agreements that would bring jobs and growth to exporting businesses here in Baltimore City, Maryland, and across the U.S.

This is an excerpt from “Congress: Don’t Miss Opportunity for TPA” on, originally published on February 12, 2015.

W.S. Darley & Co. in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

Jeff Darley, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Darley is known in the Chippewa Valley as a manufacturer of high-quality, American-made fire pumps, fire trucks and other fire equipment.

Not as widely known is our worldwide reach. We not only supply firefighters in Wisconsin and throughout the United States, but we ship our products to firefighters in more than 100 countries.

People are always surprised to find out our 127-employee business based in Wisconsin relies on trade with China, Australia, Peru, New Zealand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, Nigeria and Brazil, to name a few. That's because it can be difficult to make the connection between our local community and the global economy.

But for a company like Darley, that connection is growing every year. Nearly 50 percent of our sales come from overseas, and those sales support jobs in manufacturing, engineering and development in Chippewa Falls.

... I know what trade has done for my business. I'm excited to see Wisconsin business compete on a level playing field, in a more open, connected global economy with millions of consumers interested in what we have to offer.

This is an excerpt from “Export Business Vital to Wisconsin Firms” on Leader Telegram, originally published on April 7, 2015.

Quality Float Works, Inc. in Schaumburg, Illinois

Sandra Westlund-Deenihan, Design Engineer

Sandra Westlund-Deenihan’s grandfather could not have imagined the global reach of the manufacturing business he founded in his Chicago home nearly a century ago.

“Today, to be successful in sustaining or growing a business, most every business must compete in the global economy,” says Westlund-Deenihan, CEO and design engineer of Quality Float Works, Inc. The company operates a bustling 16,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Schaumburg, Ill.

In the past 10 years, Quality Float Works’ overall sales have grown more than 200 percent, and international sales more than quadrupled, after the company developed a new product application sought around the world. The firm exports its products to countries as diverse as Australia, Germany, Canada, Mexico and Singapore.

None of this would have been possible, Westlund-Deenihan says, without high-standard trade agreements that eliminate overseas trade barriers and further open an $11 trillion global market for manufactured goods.

“Businesses of all shapes and sizes need the opportunity to enter into new markets in a fair way,” she says. “Where there’s a level playing field abroad, we are winning sales and supporting jobs here at home.”

...She is confident that many other manufacturers in the United States will benefit from restoring U.S. trade leadership. “If a small company like ours can trade in the international marketplace, why can’t everyone?” she says.

This is an excerpt from “Not Her Grandfather’s Small Business: How Trade Promotion Authority Would Benefit An Illinois Manufacturer” in Member Focus, originally published in January 2014.

Paulson Manufacturing in Temecula, California

Roy Paulson, CEO & President

My support for TPA is simple to understand. I firmly believe increasing U.S. exports results in increased economic growth and job creation in America. TPA has been essential in negotiating trade agreements that help small businesses like ours sell into markets around the globe.

…Recent free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama broke down restrictive and stifling barriers to trade with those countries. The lowered tariffs allowed me to offer products at significantly more competitive prices to a new customer base. The countries involved in the new trade agreements promise even greater benefits due to the size and impact of their global markets.

I am a believer in trade. I have seen the reduction in tariffs and regulations improve my sales in other countries, helping me to expand and create jobs here at home. Thanks in large part to our global sales, Paulson Manufacturing, my family-owned business that began providing safety goggles for the motorsports industry, has now become a “world class organization,” distributing a range of protective products to the entire world. In fact, our international sales contribute about 25 percent of our sales and jobs.

This is an excerpt from “Time to pass trade promotion authority” on The, originally published on April 13, 2015.