MEMPHIS, TN: July 22, 2016. In an echo of the UK's Brexit rejection of multilateral trade as exemplified by the 28-country European Union, presidential hopeful Donald Trump has now rejected the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in favor of renegotiated bilateralism that would put America first.
Speaking at the end of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Trump declared: "No longer will we enter into these massive transactions, with many countries, that are thousands of pages long — and which no one from our country even reads or understands."
It's a view not shared by FedEx nor the current U.S. secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker (right) who held a private meeting with Memphis business leaders this week to discuss the benefits of a ratified TPP for both Tennessee and the United States.
"Today was an important opportunity to discuss how new trade agreements will benefit Tennessee's businesses, and most importantly, Tennessee's workers," she said. "By creating access to some of the fastest-growing markets in the world, the Trans Pacific Partnership in particular will make products made here Tennessee and all across the country more competitive in an increasing connected global economy. In addition, TPP will make it much easier for small and medium sized businesses to begin exporting or increase their exports with clearer rules and greater transparency," Pritzker added.
According to the U.S. Trade Representative more than 170,000 small and medium-sized businesses export to TPP countries. This number is expected to grow with access to 800 million consumers in the Asia-Pacific region following removal of 18,000 tariffs on American-made products.
Commenting on the Pritzker meeting FedEx Freight president and CEO Michael Ducker noted: "FedEx strongly supports passage of the TPP. Today, e-commerce allows even the smallest businesses to connect with the world. Through the TPP the U.S. has an opportunity to provide America's small businesses with better access to customers in some of the world's fastest growing markets."