TRADE COMMISSIONERS HIGHLIGHT:
Free Trade Agreement: United States - European Union
By: Michael Rosenfeld
British Consulate General, Los Angeles
Director of USA Clean Technology Sector
With as much trade as Southern California does with Asia, it would be easy to underestimate how valuable that "other" free trade agreement - the one between the U.S. and the European Union - could be for this region. But when you look at the numbers, it's clear this deal, too, deserves our support.
26.2 percent - That's how much we could expect California's EU-bound exports to increase under a very achievable scenario in which the U.S. and EU eliminate each other's already-low tariffs and cut regulatory red tape by 25 percent. Considering that California exports $56 billion worth of goods and services to the EU each year, a 26.2 percent increase translates to a huge amount of additional business.
75,340 - That's the net number of jobs that the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) would create in California, according to a study by the Atlantic Council, the Bertelsmann Foundation and the British Embassy. More than 6,000 of those new jobs would come from just three of L.A.'s Congressional districts, with thousands more created over the rest of the city and neighboring areas.
$865 - All those new jobs mean a lot of additional economic activity; the average family of four could expect to find $865 every year in their wallets.
The potential benefits are broad and deep. Many companies, like those in pharmaceuticals, would gain from the U.S. and EU agreeing to recognize each other's safety standards. Lower - or zero - tariffs would likely drive up demand for locally produced clothing and other goods. And advanced manufacturers could reap savings on the imported goods in their supply chains.
For all these reasons and more, the Chamber has been active in support of TTIP. Working through the California Coalition for Free Trade, it has urged Congress to grant the Obama Administration Trade Promotion Authority to negotiate a final agreement. The Coalition has more than 70 members large and small and remains open to new ones seeking a vehicle to advocate for free trade.
As we all know, the politics around free trade are complicated. So it's all the more important that proponents of economic opportunity don't get left standing on the sidelines. We stand to enjoy tremendous gains from increased trade with Europe, but we'll need to make our voices heard. Let's all speak up.