WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSAU) -- Foreign trade and export business is an area where Wisconsin can gain jobs and profits. So says Congressman Ron Kind, who says there are two major trade negotiation efforts underway . One is with the Trans Pacific Partnership, the twelve nations including the U.S. along the Pacific rim. The other is with the European Union.
Kind says Michael Frohman leads our trade negotiations, and he came to Wisconsin recently to learn more about Wisconsin’s products and producer concerns. Kind says the U.S. is 4% of the world’s economy, and to strengthen and grow America’s middle class, Kind says we have to be able to sell to the growing middle class abroad. “I think it’s important that we’re at the table. We’re trying to negotiate rules to level the playing field, so our businesses and workers have a level field in which to compete so we can increase exports with greater market access overseas.”
Part of the challenge with negotiating trade with foreign countries is preventing unfair government subsidies and product dumping to gain market share. Kind says the negotiations have to work out agreements and ways to enforce them. “And that is a major point of the negotiations right now, is how do we get rid of those type of unfair trade practices that other countries are engaged in, one of which is currency manipulation. When they devalue their currency, it makes their exports much cheaper. We want to be able to make sure that everyone is playing by the same rules here, and not manipulating the marketplace for unfair advantages.”
Of the twenty countries we deal with now, Kind says we are exporting more to them than we’re importing, and that means jobs here at home.
Congressman Kind is also a supporter of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which both finances and insures many foreign trade deals and prevents problems with buyers that don’t pay. U.S. Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg also visited Wisconsin recently to learn about producer concerns and answer questions about exporting. Kind says the Export-Import Bank is an important tool for businesses trading abroad. “When they do sell abroad, they don’t have to fear of a default or some customer not making payment. Having the credibility of the U.S. Export Bank involved with this ensures greater payment possibility and the opportunity for these businesses to increase sales abroad so they can expand their business and hire more people right here in Wisconsin.”