While the Trans-Pacific Partnership continues to be hotly debated on the presidential campaign trail, the deal is garnering some big industry attention this week.
The trade deal has gathered two notable endorsements from the Outdoor Industry Association and the Internet Association.
The Outdoor Industry Association, which represents outdoor equipment, apparel and footwear interests, released a statement in favor of the deal. It wasn’t a clear-cut vote by the board to jump behind TPP, however, with four of the 15 board members dissenting. Though not all of the dissenters have been named, Patagonia, a vocal TPP opponent, was one in particular. Lisa Pike Sheehy VP of Environmental Activism represents the brand on the board.
“The TPP is consistent with our balanced trade policy, reflects our industry’s values of social and environmental responsibility and will provide significant and meaningful commercial benefits to outdoor companies,” the association said. “By lowering costs on outdoor apparel, footwear and equipment, the TPP will promote innovation, create more American jobs, and will make outdoor products more affordable for more people, while raising standards on labor rights and protection of the environment.”
The Internet Association, which counts Amazon.com and eBay among its members, said, “Historically, pro-Internet policies have been absent from trade agreements, which is why the TPP is an important step forward for the Internet sector that accounts for 6 percent of the GDP and nearly 3 million American jobs.”
According to some estimates, the deal will result in about half a billion in tariff savings in the first year of implementation when it comes to footwear. Industry-wide brands such as Nike Inc. and Gap Inc. have thrown support behind the TPP. A fight for approval still looms in Congress this spring thanks in part to the variety of industries included in the agreement and loud anti-TPP rhetoric on the presidential primary trail from all leading candidates.