Bipartisan Governors' Letter on Trade | Trade Benefits America

Bipartisan Governors' Letter on Trade


Delivered December 23, 2013

Dear Mr. President, Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner, Minority Leader McConnell, and Minority Leader Pelosi:

As chief executives of their states and territories, governors have a unique perspective regarding the importance of international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) on our respective economies. Governors are actively promoting our businesses globally because over ninety five percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. We also recognize that FDI creates high paying jobs in our states that support lasting careers in our own communities. Following the strong bi-partisan support for trade in recent years, we ask you to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), and the Trade in Services (TISA) agreements, which have great potential to help our country compete in a dynamic, global economy.

These robust international trade agreements will enhance and expand economic partnerships and diplomatic relationships between the United States (U.S.) and participating countries. Reductions in trade barriers and increased market access allows our businesses, workforce, agricultural producers, and service sectors to compete on a more level playing field to help drive economic growth and increase family incomes. We are encouraged by the comprehensive nature of these agreements, but we do want to underscore that the primary purpose of the agreements should be to increase market access, including improved access for U.S. agricultural and manufactured goods abroad, while establishing ambitious rules to protect intellectual property, empower American workers, ensure fair competition with state-owned enterprises, and foster the digital economy.

We believe that the national and global economy can grow at a more robust pace and that trade liberalization will be a key component of that future growth. Enacting comprehensive agreements improves the economic standing of all parties. International trade is not a zero sum game and regulatory cooperation, done properly, can improve the efficiency of our regulatory agencies.

As governors, we strive to create a healthy economic environment in which our citizens can thrive. We strongly favor the continued pursuit of comprehensive trade agreements with TPP, T-TIP, and TISA countries that focus on market access and establishing rules and disciplines that address emerging challenges to the global trade system. We encourage forward progress on these trade initiatives to enable our citizens to compete fairly in the world market.

We stand ready to support efforts to educate and inform our friends and allies on these promising agreements.


Governor Terry E. Branstad

Governor Gary R. Herbert

Governor Mike Beebe

Governor Brian Sandoval

Governor Mike Pence

Governor Robert Bentley

Governor Rick Scott

Governor Eloy S. Inos

Governor Dave Heineman

Governor Tom Corbett

Governor Mary Fallin

Governor Sam Brownback

Governor Phil Bryant

Governor Lincoln Chafee

Governor Susana Martinez