The strength and long-term prosperity of the United States economy is fortified by American businesses continuing to export goods and services around the world. According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report citing various federal and international sources, outside of the United States are markets that represent 80% of the world's purchasing power, 92% of its economic growth, and 95% of its consumers. Engaging in international trade can help companies capitalize on business opportunities when the world economy is growing and remain viable during times of difficult economic conditions by expanding and diversifying the potential customer base.
Pennsylvania is one of the top exporting states in the country and employers in the Commonwealth are increasingly seeking foreign customers and pursuing exporting opportunities. According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Pennsylvania companies exported nearly $38.7 billion in merchandise in 2012 and $15.3 billion in services in 2011. Overall, approximately 100,000 Pennsylvanians are employed in jobs that are directly supported by exports.
The PA Chamber supports public policy and initiatives that promote free trade, open investment, and regulatory cooperation. Specifically, we support:
- Trade agreements and policies that enhance the competitiveness of American companies by removing or mitigating barriers against U.S. exports and providing greater access to imports;
- Trade Promotion Authority, which allows the President to negotiate new trade agreements, in consultation with lawmakers, and then submit the agreement to Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendment;
- Continued authorization and federal support for the Export-Import Bank of the United States: a self-sustaining federal agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets; and
- Initiatives that promote the Commonwealth's business climate and its job creators in order to provide for new trade and investment opportunities, including ensuring that Pennsylvania's domestic infrastructure is adequate to meet our international trade objectives.