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The Trans-Pacific Partnership is designed to increase trade with the 11 countries who have already signed onto the deal by removing many of the outdated trade rules that American businesses face when they attempt to import or export goods.

Our companies face countless regulations and tariffs when they buy or sell nearly all products in foreign markets — making American-made produced goods less competitive abroad. We cannot expect to thrive economically if we face these obstacles.

When our automobile manufacturers currently export cars to TPP nations, they face tariffs as high as 70 percent. The TPP will benefit our manufacturers by severely reducing or removing these taxes, which will allow our companies to operate on a level-playing field. This ability to be competitive is especially important for TPP countries because Michigan sends over 70 percent of its exports to these markets, and this trade supports over 430,000 jobs in Michigan alone.

Nearly all farmers across the country are pushing for the TPP because it will allow them to sell their produce and meat to emerging markets in Asia and South America. For farmers here in Michigan, the TPP will increase exports by over $100 million per year, which will provide a much needed boost to our agricultural workers.

If you talk to the business and agricultural leaders in Michigan, you will undoubtedly hear that the TPP represents an incredible economic opportunity for the United States. It will elevate the position of American businesses and will allow the U.S. to protect our economic interests in the international economy. Without TPP, we would miss out on billions of dollars from increased trade, while also allowing other world powers like China to foster economic relations that exclude us.

As presidential candidates continue to speak out against this deal, Michigan’s representatives in Washington, D.C. should fight for our economic interests and support the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Rick Johnson, 68th speaker

Michigan House of Representatives

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