Patrick, Gregoire, and Kirk to Advise Progressive Coalition for American Jobs

Governor Deval Patrick, Governor Christine Gregoire, and Ambassador Ron Kirk serving on Advisory Board of new effort to promote free and fair trade

WASHINGTON, DC – As Congress considers legislation on trade promotion authority for the President, the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs (PCAJ) – the new effort launched by Democrats and progressives who support free and fair trade – is building out its team. PCAJ today announced that former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, former Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, and former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk will help lead the effort as members of its Advisory Board.    

“I’m a pro-growth progressive. For people to have job opportunities, we must have economic growth. And today that means embracing global trade,” said former Governor Deval Patrick. “I’d rather have the President and this Administration work out the rules for doing so through the Trans-Pacific Partnership than leaving it to administrations, at home or abroad, less sensitive to worker rights and environmental stewardship.”

“As Governor, I saw firsthand the impact of trade on our economy – the simple fact is that the more we export, the more we create jobs to support the production of those goods and services,” said former Governor Christine Gregoire. “I am a longtime advocate for strong labor and environmental standards. I believe trade promotion authority is an important step for President Obama and this Administration to negotiate modern trade agreements that help grow our economy, support high-paying jobs here in America, and ensure standards for workers and our environment.” 

“I’m proud of the what this Administration has already accomplished in expanding our reach into markets around the world – during my tenure as U.S. Trade Representative, our team made it a priority to grow our exports to support more jobs here at home. But there is more work to be done, and as we increase trade with our global partners, we had better help shape the rules for doing so rather than leaving it up to other countries to set weaker policies without us,” said former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. “Giving the President trade promotion authority is a key piece of building on that progress and laying the foundation for a stronger economy in the years to come.”

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 new 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 new jobs. 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.

"Democrats voted for the President because they know he will only support a trade deal that does right by the American economy and provides for strong labor and environmental standards," said Mitch Stewart, a founding partner at 270 Strategies and PCAJ advisor. "Which is why we expect the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs to keep growing in the weeks ahead. Moving forward, we will continue to highlight Democratic voices that support progressive ideals and free and fair trade."  

PCAJ was launched earlier this month to bring together progressive voices across the activist, advocacy, and business communities to share information about the benefits of free and fair trade. The organization currently has a significant digital advertising effort underway in Oregon and Washington State and will expand to other key states in the weeks to come.

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