Beaverton, Oregon – Nike’s CEO said his company would accelerate efforts to begin advance manufacturing in America if Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is ratified, a pact President Barack Obama says will allow the U.S. to write rules for global trade.
Welcoming Obama outside Beaverton at the Nike’s global headquarter, Mark Parker said advance manufacturing would add 10,000 new jobs over the next decade from Nike and its partners and another 40,000 jobs across the supply chain. Nike employs 26,000 people nationwide, 8,500 of them serving Nike Oregon.
“We support President Obama’s strong leadership on trade and his hard work on Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Parker said, setting the stage for Obama to push for the TPP, a pact among 12 nations that is the largest the U.S. would join in more than two decades.
Pushing for TPP, President Obama said it would open hitherto closed markets for U.S. goods and services, accelerating the pace of revitalization of the economy which, he said, had nearly collapsed when he took over.
“We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy, we should do that today when our economy is in a position of global strength,” said Obama, throwing a word of caution that if America did not write those rules, “China will”.
Obama said he was a stronger supporter of TPP as it would help American businesses grow and compete at the global scale. “We want to make sure that rules are fair so that our businesses and our workers are on a level-playing field.”
He described TPP as the “most progressive trade deal in history” that would strengthen U.S. outreach to global markets and open up new vistas.
The pact, he said, would benefit small businesses the most which are the backbone of the U.S. economy, employing millions of people and account for 98 percent of total exports.
Highlighting successes of his economic and trade policy, Obama said U.S added 223,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate fell to the 7-year low of 5.4 percent. The economy has added 3 million new jobs over the past 12 months, the fastest pace over the last decade.
Comparing that with the situation seven years ago, Obama said: “We are in a different place today.”