Time to Pass Trade Promotion Authority

By: Roy Paulson, Chair, National District Export Council
The upcoming congressional debate over Trade Promotion Authority gives our elected officials in Washington the chance to create new opportunities and open new markets for American small businesses around the world. I, along with millions of other small-business owners, hope they succeed and pass this critical legislation.
My support for TPA is simple to understand. I firmly believe increasing U.S. exports results in increased economic growth and job creation in America. TPA has been essential in negotiating trade agreements that help small businesses like ours sell into markets around the globe. Renewing the TPA agreement will help the U.S. negotiate pending agreements that will open even more foreign markets to the U.S., which will give American workers new markets in which they can more easily sell the goods and services they produce.
Recent free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama broke down restrictive and stifling barriers to trade with those countries. The lowered tariffs allowed me to offer products at significantly more competitive prices to a new customer base. The countries involved in the new trade agreements promise even greater benefits due to the size and impact of their global markets.
I am a believer in trade. I have seen the reduction in tariffs and regulations improve my sales in other countries, helping me to expand and create jobs here at home. Thanks in large part to our global sales, Paulson Manufacturing, my family-owned business that began providing safety goggles for the motor sports industry, has now become a “world class organization,” distributing a range of protective products to the entire world. In fact, our international sales contribute about 25 percent of our sales and jobs.
Many of us business owners who have reaped the benefits of global trade volunteer our time and expertise to assist other small businesses to increase export sales, which promotes our country’s economic growth and creates new, higher-paying jobs for our communities.
It is time to modernize trade rules to reflect today’s global economy and deliver greater opportunities for small businesses to thrive. Congress can do so through passage of TPA and completion of pending U.S. free trade agreements with Europe and Pacific Rim nations.
The results are clear: trade opens doors abroad and creates jobs in the U.S. The time for action is now. It is time for Congress to make small business a priority and pass Trade Promotion Authority.
Roy Paulson is CEO & president of Temecula-based Paulson Manufacturing and director of Paulson International Ltd. Mr. Paulson is an appointed member of the District Export Council and a recipient of the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Achievement Award.
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