American Jobs and Growth Agenda, Part 4: Expanding American Trade, Investment, and Tourism

Jan 17, 2013

U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue mentioned an important statistic in his State of American Business address: Ninety-five percent of all people live outside the United States. “We need to go sell them something,” he quipped. 

Expanded trade, increased energy exports, more foreign investment, and tourism are opportunities for economic growth and jobs. In this post I will touch on this part of the U.S. Chamber’s American Jobs and Growth Agenda.

First, on expanding trade, the administration delivered some good news when it announced that it will begin talks on an International Services Agreement (ISA). Work has to be done on other trade negotiations. A high-quality Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement needs to be completed to expand trade in the Pacific. At the same time talks should begin on a U.S. –European Union trade agreement to jumpstart growth in both our economies. U.S. officials need to make sure it’s still on track.

Second, as I mentioned in part two of this series, there's opportunity for growth by exporting American energy. A Department of Energy-commissioned study concluded that exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) would be a net economic benefit. As for coal, Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment, points out that “with the EPA placing a de facto moratorium on coal power plants in the U.S. under [proposed] greenhouse gas [rules], the future of the domestic coal industry depends on exports, as do related rail and port jobs.”

Finally we can’t forget that more foreign investment and tourism as sources for growth. Lower barriers to foreign investment and bilateral investment treaties are needed to encourage investment in America while protecting American investors overseas. Also, added improvements to the visa system will draw more international travelers to the United States.

With most potential customers outside the United States, opening markets and increasing trade can help our economy move faster.

Posts in this series:

  1. Entitlement and Comprehensive Tax Reforms
  2. Expand American Energy
  3. Regulatory Reform
  4. Expanding American Trade, Investment, and Tourism
  5. Developing a Competitive Workforce

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