On Wednesday, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) released its economic assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, predicting small rises in US employment, GDP, and exports as a result of the agreement over the next 15 years. The report notes the TPP has “the potential to positively affect the US economy by strengthening and harmonizing regulations, increasing certainty, and decreasing trade costs for firms that trade and invest in the TPP region.”
Among broad sectors of the US economy, agriculture and food would see the greatest percentage gain according to the report. The services sector would benefit, while the report predicts the manufacturing sector will essentially be a wash.
According to US Trade Representative Michael Froman, the ITC report provides solid rationale for ratification of the agreement this year, stating further that that his office is pursuing an expedited process of TPP implementation.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said in a statement following the issuance of the ITC report that it is his goal to pass the TPP this year. Noting that the agreement is not perfect, Chairman Brady indicated that Congress will also continue to work with the Administration to resolve the Members’ outstanding concerns about this agreement. Congress will use the report to launch a series of hearings that could take place as early as this summer or fall.
The report also provided analysis on specific industry sectors, such as the automotive sector. As most observers predicted, the report noted mixed results for the US automotive industry, with some potential gains offset by other factors. Arent Fox will soon be providing a detailed analysis of the ITC’s comments on the automotive sector.