State of the Union Address and the President’s Trade Agenda
January 22, 2015
President Obama used his State of the Union address on January 20, 2015 to promote international trade and advance his commitment to the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). During the speech, President Obama stressed the importance of selling American made goods overseas, and therefore the U.S. must “write [the] rules” to create a level playing field. Additionally, President Obama commented, “I’m the first one to admit that past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype, and that’s why we’ve gone after countries that break the rules at our expense. But 95 percent of the world’s customers live outside our borders, and we can’t close ourselves off from those opportunities." To accomplish his trade goals, President Obama also asked for support for trade promotion authority, which will allow the U.S. “to protect American workers, with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe that aren’t just free, but are also fair.”
In addition to trade agreements, President Obama stated that Cuban policy is “long past its expiration date.” Despite the progress seen in the past month with Cuban relations, the President stated that Congress needs to end the embargo.
Furthermore, President Obama discussed the need for the U.S. to continue to build infrastructure and construct “modern ports, and stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest internet.” He stressed the need for the U.S. to protect itself from cyber-attacks and the importance of keeping our information safe. The President declared, “If we don’t act, we’ll leave our nation and our economy vulnerable.”
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