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TPP Would Benefit San Diego’s Export Economy, Report Says

August 4, 2016 1:36 p.m.

TPP Would Benefit San Diego's Export Economy, Report Says

GUEST:

Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce

Related Story: TPP Would Benefit San Diego's Export Economy, Report Says

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

The transpacific partnership exists sleeping trade deal between the US and 11 Pacific rim countries it would lower the tariffs or taxes those countries chart on imported goods but the Obama back to deal is facing stiff opposition in Congress and across the country due to concerns the agreement will not protect American jobs and the environment. US Secretary. of commerce Penny Pritzker is in San Francisco today to drum up support for the deal citing a report that 97% of San Diego exports go to KTP companies. Every Monday anchor of evening addition spoke with Secretary. Penny Pritzker today.
The US international trade commission said the PPD will increase gross domestic product by 42 Max $7 million is less than one quarter of a percentage point therefore is it really going to have a big impact on the economy?
Reporter: Absolutely. The biggest beneficiaries will be our small and medium-size businesses. California has 75,000 companies that export San Diego -- 97% of the exports go to TPP countries already of your 75,000 exporters 96% are small and medium-size businesses so these may be companies that are exporting to one country today but they are to sell a product outside the United States we are bringing down the barriers for those companies to be able to sell into the fastest-growing region in the world -- the Asia-Pacific region where the middle class will go from 500 million where the middle class will go from 500,000,000 to 3.2 billion in the next 15 years. This is in our lifetime. This is within our line of sight. It also really helps our agricultural producers. I was just in Fresno yesterday and whether you are producing rice, dairy, tree nuts -- enormous opportunities come from access to markets we do not have today through this agreement so this has a broad-based benefit if you are in the technology business was a lot of folks in the San Diego area are there is a whole chapter on e-commerce up prohibits data localization and protects intellectual property . it creates an opportunity for us to sell more of our technical and technological services throughout the world.
Reporter: And Congresswoman Susan Davis said that after a telephone town hall 65% of callers did not know enough about TPP -- 35% were opposed but there was no one who called it in support so is the opposition just overwhelming?
It really is not . the point you made is people do not understand the deal. There have been in a lot of rhetoric about trade that there is very little understanding of the benefits to the American worker or the benefits to American business and the job creation opportunities that come from it. I have been all over this country and particularly large companies will benefit for sure and create more jobs for the United States but the biggest beneficiaries will be small and medium-size businesses so whether it is Taylor guitar or it is the world art group in Virginia or it is carpet manufacturers in Dalton Georgia all of whom -- today has manufacturing panels of around about 15 different companies. Most of whom sell 20% of the products whether they are dolls or benches are guitars outside of the United States. They want the ability to sell their goods to more countries around the world. We do not have free access today to those markets. Most countries have pretty good access in the United States. This gives us a really big advantage.
Are you concerned that even how strong the opposition is that this will pass?
I am concerned that people do not recognize how much our credibility is on the line and this is sort of a one-time opportunity because the other countries have alternatives. As the other thing to keep in mind. Remember China is out trying to do its own multilateral trade agreement where the standards are very different. Much lower and will not leave the United States much less competitive . we need to recognize there have been 100 trade agreements done since 2000 in the Asia-Pacific region that give other countries access so we need to catapult ourselves in to a position of being more competitive in that region -- a region that has enormous growth potential for American companies and our workers.
And President. Obama this week signaled that TPP is unlikely to pass before the election and holds out hope that it will pass during the lame-duck session. Are you confident that will pass during the lame-duck session? And what will this say to Congress?
I am an optimist and I believe it will pass. Nothing is easy when it comes to trade because it gets conflated and misunderstood but we are working hard. The president is working very hard to get this done both in front of the cameras you have heard when the Singaporean Prime Minister was here and behind the scenes working with members of Congress to get this done.
Reporter: And if we have to resort to passing it during the lame-duck session, will that signal to the partners -- what will that signal?
I think that our foreign partners -- to countries that are part of the agreement recognize the complicated political situation here in the United States but they really are leaning in to how important it is to our multilateral relations that we get this done but frankly what is most important is this is good for America. It is good for American leadership, it is good for national security, it is good for American business but most importantly it is good for the American worker.
Reporter: And national trade isn't typically a major talking point during the campaign season Whitey think it has become such a big issue this time around .
I will not comment on the campaign but what I will say is it is a ripe subject because now is the time to get it done and I think that's what people are talking about and why it is high on the list of priorities but most importantly it is high on the list of priorities for our administration to get this done. We have a whole administration effort . the president of the United States is leading that and I am right there with him to get this done.
That was secretary of commerce Penny Pritzker speaking with him in addition of any Monday.
-- Speaking with evening additions ebony Monday.