Rochester Tooling & Machining Association

Keynote Address

RTMA Works With Coalition of Prosperous America (CPA) In Washington D.C To Lobby On Trade Issues


Kevin Kelley, RTMA Executive Director

In early April, I went to Washington D.C. to lobby on Capitol Hill with our friends and colleagues from the Coalition for Prosperous America (CPA). CPA is a

non-profit organization representing manufacturing, agriculture and labor. We met with New York Members of Congress to discuss the current trade crisis. The U.S. Trade Deficit reduced our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2.5% to 5.5% each year, in the last 10 years. Further, our trade deficit with China has hit an all-time high of over $342 billion.


Often, trade issues have been overshadowed by other national issues that tend to receive more media coverage and public interest during Presidential Elections. However, this election, has allowed for much needed discussion on current and debated trade policies, not only by the Presidential Candidates themselves, but also the general public.


In our meetings with Members of the New York Congressional Delegation, we advocated our support for a national goal of balanced trade and smart tax reform. Further, we explained our opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Deal in its current format. Presently, TPP enables off-shoring and provides no national strategy for balanced trade.


We discovered that the Congressional Representatives, and their staffs, are more receptive than ever before, to help us find a solution that will fix America’s Trade Challenges.


Several important trends became clear: First, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) remains unpopular. Secondly, concern over trade deficits is strong and no longer dismissed. Third, the ascendance of trade as a voting issue in this Presidential Campaign is having an impact on the perception of Congress.


The RTMA continues to focus its efforts on programs and services that help its members in the marketplace. Balanced Trade is probably the single biggest issue facing American Manufacturing. We continue to work with strategic partners like CPA, to achieve the outcome that RTMA Members deserve – a level playing field in the international marketplace.


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