The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) today announced that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the chief United States official on international trade, opened the 67th Virginia Conference on World Trade in Norfolk this morning. In his first public event after publication of the full Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text, Ambassador Froman highlighted how Made-in-America exports are helping the state’s economy and how the TPP will help to grow those benefits.
The TPP is a groundbreaking trade agreement that will gain American workers, farmers, and businesses of all sizes unprecedented access to the Asia-Pacific region. This agreement is a centerpiece of President Obama’s economic strategy, and will deliver for American exporters by cutting over 18,000 taxes imposed on American imports to the Asia-Pacific while leveling the playing field for Americans with groundbreaking labor and environmental standards.
The Virginia Conference on World Trade, with 280 in attendance at this year’s 67th annual conference, helps attendees make valuable connections that can take their international business to the next level.
“As the Port of Virginia here in Norfolk exemplifies, exporting Made-in-America goods has made Virginia a leader in the global economy,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. “Last year alone, Virginia’s exports supported over 90,000 high-paying jobs. On a bipartisan basis, we want to grow these economic benefits and help Virginians export more. By guaranteeing American workers, farmers and businesses unprecedented access to vital markets in the Asia-Pacific region – including by cutting over 18,000 different taxes that other countries impose on American exports – that’s exactly what the Trans-Pacific Partnership does.”
In 2014, Virginia exported an estimated $19.3 billion of Made-in-America goods to the world. Thirty-five percent of those exports ($6.7 billion) went to TPP countries. And $3.6 billion of Virginia’s exports came from the Norfolk area.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, a marketing organization, was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate, and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business recruitment, expansion and international trade. VEDP offers numerous programs to assist Virginia companies sell into the global marketplace.