Obama officials ramp up trade pressure with 50-state report

Obama officials ramp up trade pressure with 50-state report
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The Obama administration is releasing a new report detailing the impact of trade in all 50 states, as it presses Congress to approve expanded negotiating powers for President Obama.

The joint report, a project between the U.S. Trade Representative and the Commerce Department, says 43 states made strides in exports last year, boosting the economy and the job market.

The release of the data comes at a time when Congress is locked in a contentious debate over trade agreements, with liberals resisting the White House’s push for trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation.


"We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines as others strike deals that put our businesses and workers at a competitive disadvantage and encourage a race to the bottom," U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael B.G. FromanOn The Money: Sanders unveils plan to wipe .6T in student debt | How Sanders plan plays in rivalry with Warren | Treasury watchdog to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills | Trump says Fed 'blew it' on rate decision Democrats give Trump trade chief high marks US trade rep spent nearly M to furnish offices: report MORE and Commerce Secretary Penny PritzkerPenny Sue PritzkerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders steamrolls to South Carolina primary, Super Tuesday Biden's new campaign ad features Obama speech praising him Obama Commerce secretary backs Biden's 2020 bid MORE write in the report.

"By moving forward with standards that reflect our interests and values, including the highest labor and environmental protections, we can protect American jobs and catalyze a race to the top," they wrote.

The report, known as the United States of Trade, provides state-by-state snapshots of trade benefits with a focus on small- and medium-sized businesses.

The document breaks down the value of goods exported, jobs supported, number of companies that sell their goods overseas and the percentage of those that are smaller businesses.

The report also presents data for each state on the trade benefits linked to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the two major trade deals under negotiation.

The data could prove useful for administration officials, as they seek to overcome opposition from Democrats in Congress for passage of fast-track negotiating powers for Obama.

The report includes the story of one exporter in each state, and top manufacturing industries and agriculture exports are also highlighted.

Overall, 11.7 million U.S. jobs were supported by exports in 2014 — the fifth straight year of record-breaking levels, the report says.