Today, President Obama is traveling to Oregon to visit the headquarters of Nike to deliver a speech in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But his trip and advocacy for the agreement is not focused entirely on large companies like Nike. Tied in with the Nike visit, the White House is using its blog and other digital media to profile small businesses in Oregon that demonstrate how the TPP would “open up new markets, support high-quality jobs, protect the environment, raise human rights and labor standards around the world, and level the playing field for American workers.” Additionally, several small business owners have been invited to participate at the event.
The trade agreement has been negotiated for years and includes the following 12 nations: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. If negotiations among the countries involved lead to an agreement, both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives must approve it.
Rather than supporting its advocacy solely with statistics and economic theory, the White House is also using profiles of real small business owners in Oregon whose businesses depend on accessibility to world markets in order to expand and hire more employees.
The businesses include:
Stash Tea Company
Portland-based Stash Tea Company has developed export sales over the past several years. Their exports accounted for about 20 percent of the company’s annual sales in 2014. President of Stash Tea Company Tom Lisicki says the TPP would make exporting and trade a lot easier for his company.
Chris King Precision Components
With around 100 employees, Portland-based Chris King Precision Components manufactures bicycle parts. Profiting from trade to nations including Canada, Mexico, Peru, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, exports accounted for 40 percent of the company’s total sales in 2013. CEO Chris King sees trade as one of his company’s biggest assets. “All employees are supported by our export sales,” he said. “We see exports as our biggest potential.”
Sokol Blosser Winery
Located in Dayton, Sokol Blosser Winery is a vineyard, tasting room and winery facility that also sells their product internationally. Two of their three top export markets are TPP member countries, and their exports to Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan combined make up 20 percent of their revenue. The TPP will help remove tariffs for U.S. wineries selling overseas, which currently hover around 55 percent.
Based in Portland and employing 20 people, Egg Press is a letterpress greeting card company that profits from both domestic and global sales. In recent years, Egg Press has seen an emerging market in two TPP countries: Japan and Australia. (White House blog post by Egg Press founder Tess Darrow.)