the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

Search form

See What the Most Progressive Trade Agreement in History Looks Like:

Summary: 
The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement gives America the greatest opportunity to change these rules and level the playing field for American workers by putting in place tough new standards on labor, the environment, and in other areas that will make TPP the most progressive trade deal the world has ever seen.

Trade is embedded in the foundation of a strong, 21st century economy. It’s been central to our economic resurgence, contributing nearly one-third of our economic growth in the recovery and supporting 11.7 million American jobs in 2014 alone.

Right now, America is in a race with China to secure a trade deal with countries in the Asia Pacific -- the fastest-growing markets in the world. The countries that would be part of our trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), received 62% of U.S. goods exports in 2014.

So the question is not whether we will trade, but how? 

As President Obama has said, “past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype. That’s why I’ve made it clear that I won’t sign any agreement that doesn’t put American workers first.” 

TPP gives America the greatest opportunity to change these rules and level the playing field for American workers. How? By putting in place tough new standards on labor, the environment, and in other areas that will make the Trans-Pacific Partnership the most progressive trade deal the world has ever seen. 

Here's what that would look like: 

Stronger protections for workers:

Stronger protections for the environment:  

Stronger protections of a free and open Internet: 

We know that these standards are ones that will level the playing field, because – for the first time – President Obama invited the people who will be most impacted by these rules to the negotiating table:

If we don’t secure this trade agreement, Americans will be forced to accept the status quo – which is bad for small businesses, bad for American workers, and bad for our future leadership. 

Here’s why: 

We would lose opportunities to create new high-paying jobs through expanded exports because: 

  • Other countries would get preferential access to the fastest-growing markets at our expense.
  • American businesses would be at a disadvantage, which means they’d have to drop out of competition or move their production overseas to access those markets.

We would fail to secure strong labor and environmental standards for trade in the world's fastest-growing region: 

  • There’d be no enforceable rules ensuring countries set a minimum wage, end child labor, or enforce workplace safety.
  • There’d be no enforceable rules ensuring countries address shark finning, the ivory trade, illegal timber, or wildlife trafficking.

We would continue to be hamstrung in protecting American innovation:

  • There would be no rules protecting American invention, artistic creativity, and research.
  • We’d be limited in our ability to develop creative ways to speed the flow of new medicines to patients and ensure an open Internet.

If we don’t write the rules of 21st century trade, China will – and in that scenario, American workers lose.

It’s time to level the playing field and secure a trade deal that reflects the best of our values and ensures the strength of our economic future.