Daines Leads Effort to POTUS Calling for TPP Reengagement

Small and medium sized businesses account for 84 percent of Montana’s exporters 

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today led 25 senators in sending a letter to President Trump urging the President to act on his recent statements expressing interest in reconsidering an improved Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  

“With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of America’s borders, expanding trade opportunities is critical to Montana’s economy,” said Daines. “When given the opportunity to compete on a level playing field, Montana farmers, ranchers and businesses will win and create good-paying jobs here at home.

The letter comes a week before President Trump is scheduled to meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the White House. The two leaders are expected to discuss promoting economic growth, including through expanded trade.

Daines was joined by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (UT), Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (KS), Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (TX), and Senators Mike Rounds (SD), James Lankford (OK), Roy Blunt (MO), Jeff Flake (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC), Johnny Isakson (GA), James Risch (ID), John Barrasso (WY), Cory Gardner (CO), Mike Enzi (WY), Ben Sasse (NE), Jerry Moran (KS), Ron Johnson (WI), Dan Sullivan (AK), Chuck Grassley (IA), Joni Ernst (IA), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Todd Young (IN), Roger Wicker (MS), John McCain (AZ) and Richard Burr (NC).

Daines’ Leadership on Trade:

On January 30, 2018, Daines sent a letter to President Trump, reaffirming the benefits on the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and urging him to modernize it to reflect the 21st century economy.

On November 20, 2017, Daines sent a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urging him to consider the critical role agriculture plays in the U.S, economy and its dependence on trade.

On June 28, 2017, Daines sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Lighthizer, urging him to consider the impact of trade with Mexico and Canada’s on the U.S. agricultural industry while renegotiating NAFTA.

On June 8, 2017, Daines sent a letter to USTR Ambassador Lighthizer, outlining priorities for a modernized NAFTA.

On May 12, 2017, Daines announced that an agreement was reached to open Chinese markets to U.S. beef no later than July 16, 2017.

On May 5, 2017, Daines led a letter to Chinese Premier to open markets to U.S. beef.

On April 17, 2017, Daines returned from leading an official congressional delegation trip to China where he hand-delivered four Montana steaks from Miles City to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and pressed Chinese officials to finalize negotiations and re-open Chinese markets to U.S. beef. Daines also hand-delivered a letter from the Montana Stockgrowers Association to Premier Li.

On April 5, 2017, Daines led 39 Senators in asking Trump to prioritize opening Chinese markets to U.S. beef.

Download letter HERE.

Mr. President:

We write in support of your recent comments expressing interest in re-engaging with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to bring about a stronger agreement for the United States. Reducing barriers to trade and investment, protecting American intellectual property rights, and leveling the playing field for U.S. businesses, manufacturers, farmers, fishermen, and ranchers is of utmost importance, and we ask that you prioritize engagement with the TPP so that the American people can prosper from the tremendous opportunities that these trading partners bring.  

As you know, increased economic engagement with the eleven nations currently in the TPP has the potential to substantially improve the competitiveness of U.S. businesses, support millions of U.S. jobs, increase U.S. exports, increase wages, fully unleash America’s energy potential, and benefit consumers. Increasing access to a region and market that has a population of nearly 500 million can create widespread benefits to the U.S. economy. An improved TPP would therefore bolster and sustain the economic growth America has experienced over the past year facilitated by the regulatory reductions and reforms enacted by your Administration and the substantial tax cuts that you signed into law.

Further, TPP can serve as a way to strengthen ties with our allies in the region, counter the influence of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and increase pressure on the PRC to adopt substantive and positive economic reforms. Re-engaging on TPP would also provide another platform to modernize trade with Canada and Mexico. 

We recognize that such an endeavor requires the confirmation of your qualified nominees within the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Department of Commerce, and other trade-related federal agencies. We are committed to securing their expeditious consideration on the Senate floor.

In summary, we encourage you to work aggressively to secure reforms that would allow the United States to join the agreement. We share your commitment for free trade agreements that benefit the American people, and we stand ready to work closely with you toward achieving a TPP agreement that meets this objective.