Growing Numbers of Governors and Mayors Support Push for Free and Fair Trade

WASHINGTON, DC – As Congress considers legislation giving trade promotion authority to the President, a growing number of current and former Democratic governors and mayors are calling for trade policies that reflect a modern, 21st century economy and supports American workers and jobs. Today, the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs announced that nineteen governors and mayors have joined its effort to promote free and fair trade.

"Trade has the potential to support thousands of jobs here in the United States. As chief executives, these governors and mayors know firsthand the critical impact that trade can have on their state and local economies -- boosting local revenues, raising wages, and expanding opportunities for American businesses," said former U.S. Trade Representative and PCAJ Advisory Board member Ron Kirk. "It's no wonder these leaders are standing with the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs. Together we are calling for Congress to give trade promotion authority to the President so that we can negotiate 21st century trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that set tough rules on wages, workplace safety, and the environment." 

Stephen Benjamin   
Mayor of Columbia

Phil Bredesen
Former Governor, Tennessee

Bob Buckhorn
Mayor, Tampa

Richard Celeste
Former Governor, Ohio

Jim Doyle
Former Governor, Wisconsin

Jim Florio
Former Governor, New Jersey

Andrew Gillum
Mayor, Tallahassee

Christine Gregoire*
Former Governor, Washington

Jim Hodges
Former Governor, South Carolina

Gary Locke
Former Governor, Washington

Annise Parker
Mayor, Houston

Deval Patrick*
Former Governor, Massachusetts

Paul Patton
Former Governor, Kentucky

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Mayor, Baltimore

Ed Rendell
Former Governor, Pennsylvania

Bill Ritter
Former Governor, Colorado

Roy Romer
Former Governor, Colorado

R.T. Rybak
Former Mayor, Minneapolis

Kathleen Sebelius
Former Governor, Kansas

Americans support trade by a wide margin -- a Gallup poll released last month found that 58% of Americans see foreign markets as an opportunity for economic growth.

Taken together, trade promotion authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would not only shore up the 11.7 million American jobs that are already supported by the export of U.S. goods and services – they would support hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs and set fair rules on wages, workplace safety, and the environment instead of leaving nations like China and others to set weaker standards on their own.

It is estimated that every $1 billion in exports supports between 5,200 and 7,000 jobs in the U.S. TPP countries already employ more than 1.5 million Americans through the export of U.S. goods – and the agreement is expected to support hundreds of thousands of jobs that cannot be outsourced. According to analysis supported by the Peterson Institute, by 2025 TPP is estimated to increase US exports by $123.5 billion.

And because these jobs pay more on average – export jobs pay up to 18 percent more than non-export jobs – workers and their communities will feel the impact of the trade deal in a significant way. By 2025, TPP is projected to account for $77 billion in real income every year. 

"There is clear support among Democrats for comprehensive, modern trade deals. When done right, trade can raise standards for workers, raise environmental protections, and support high-quality, good paying jobs right here at home," said Chris Wyant, PCAJ Executive Director. "We're proud to have this distinguished list of governors and mayors to help us drive home that trade can be both free and fair."




The Progressive Coalition for American Jobs brings together progressives and Democrats committed to leveling the playing field for American workers and building a stronger economy for all of us. 


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*Governors Christine Gregoire and Deval Patrick are Advisory Board members of the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs