By Jake E. Jennings, AT&T Executive Director of International External and Regulatory Affairs

Currently, the U.S. is negotiating three trade agreements – the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trade in Services Agreement and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. When completed, American businesses and workers will gain more open access to two-thirds of the world economy.

Last week, the Obama administration laid out a compelling case for its ambitious trade agenda during a speech by United States Trade Representative Michael Froman at the Center for American Progress. Ambassador Froman did an excellent job of clearly articulating how trade agreements will drive economic growth, boost labor and environmental protections.

He noted trade agreements:

• create new opportunities through increased market access;

• give U.S. companies the ability to sell products and services in those countries just as foreign companies can do so today without the agreements; and

• level the playing field by raising standards and values on everything from environment, labor and e-commerce.

Ambassador Froman also highlighted that cross-border collaboration and data exchange will drive tomorrow’s innovations.

Today, and in the years ahead, the ability for information to flow across borders will be increasingly important to economic growth as all businesses are dependent on the flow of digital, cloud-based information. We also have important social policies and objectives, including expectations of privacy and transparency, which are important to all of us. We can and should protect them while at the same time not foregoing the benefits of new global technologies that will help grow our economies.

AT&T, along with the Business Roundtable, fully supports these agreements and also the passage of Trade Promotion Authority which is critical for the U.S. to complete trade agreements.

Trade has been a key part of the U.S. recovery – and it will be a key part of economic growth going forward in the U.S. and around the globe. Ambassador Froman said it best: “Trade, done right, is part of the solution, not part of the problem.” You can read his full remarks here.

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