I’ve traveled to historic Philadelphia and bustling New York City to showcase the potential impacts of international trade at the local level in the United States. Now, it’s time to hit the road again to explore what progressive trade policy can do for the millions of Americans who live in between our coasts. A visit to the American heartland is the perfect way to get a greater sense of exactly what that means. Today, let’s stop in Indiana, home to 6.5 million “Hoosiers” who have much to gain from greater economic ties with the world.
Perennially among the top 20 states in terms of gross product, Indiana topped out at GDP of $336 billion in 2015, good enough for 16th in the nation. Exports of homegrown goods and services typically make up a strong percentage of the yearly economic output, approaching annual levels of$50B in recent years. In 2013 alone, revenue from international exports represented 13% of Indiana’s GDP – and $20 billion of these products ended up in countries that have established free trade agreements with the United States. From crops to automobiles (which underwent an 89% rise in trade activity between 2009-2014), products made in Indiana continue to make their way around the country and globe, and help make ends meet for families from Fort Wayne to Evansville to Terre Haute. Imagine the possibilities if dozens more countries are brought into the fold. TTIP can make it happen by replacing many EU countries’ existing bilateral investment treaties with a full-fledged free trade agreement.
No matter where you go in the U.S., you’ll find that trade supports jobs for thousands of Americans. Indiana is no exception – global trade has facilitated the creation of more than 800,000 jobs in the Hoosier State. Roughly 160,000 of these opportunities can be linked to foreign direct investment. Though just 6% of the total Indiana workforce, this reliable source of income makes a tremendous impact on thousands of Indiana families. Imagine the surge of employment that would result if commercial channels are widened even further through smart, sound, sensible trade policy. An agreement like TTIP can deliver all that and more.
Indiana is a hub of scientific innovation and pioneering. As you may have guessed, they rely on modern, efficient trade practices to deliver their products to patients around the country and across the globe. Companies that research and release these new medicines and other medical devices to the masses account for 13.5% of the state’s total international trading activity, a percentage that ranks third behind only California and Massachusetts. Among the top destinations for these life-changing, and often lifesaving, shipments? Germany, France, and the Netherlands – all countries that would enjoy more robust economic ties with the United States and companies like these through a comprehensive TTIP deal.
Fostering international trade can foster the growth of key American industries. Facilitating economic ties across borders can facilitate job growth on both ends by the thousands. Bettering trade practices between nations can better the lives of people and patients everywhere. The evidence will be seen in places like Indiana, as well as across the United States and the European Union, should both sides agree to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
We want to hear from you! As we continue to look at the impacts of trade on different countries, check in with us at @BetterTrade to tell us where you want to explore next!