CEO Voices Support for Trans Pacific Partnership

CEO Voices Support for Trans Pacific Partnership

PMT CEO Charles A. Sholtis joined a White House press call October 19 to discuss his support of a strong Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

As an American manufacturer and owner of a company that exports over 85 percent of finished products, Sholtis was asked to share his experience growing a small business through trade. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, reporters from Texas media outlets and representatives from the International Trade Administration were also on the call.


PMT CEO Charles Sholtis, above, participated in a press call October 19 to discuss the TPP and its importance to small manufacturers.

Sholtis highlighted the borderplex region and the importance of enhancing trade and export opportunities in this strategic location.

“TPP will be a positive for this region and for the plastic molding industry,” Sholtis said. “As a small business, we need policies and trade agreements in place to successfully compete in a tough global economy.”

Sholtis was invited to speak on the call after he participated in a Business Roundtable discussion with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker during the 2015 U.S.—Mexico Summit in August. PMT has also been working with the El Paso branch of the International Trade Administration for several years to open new market opportunities.

El Paso companies ship 80 percent of all exports to one country—Mexico. Being strategically located in El Paso allows companies like PMT to supply the maquila industry especially well. A strong TPP will open markets in 10 new countries, which holds the potential to increase and diversify our customer base. Mexico will always be our largest and most important market, but adding customers in the other TPP countries will help strengthen and diversify El Paso’s export economy.

Based on the variety of industries we serve, PMT and our end customers face export tariffs of up to 20 percent—an added cost barrier that TPP will remove. A robust partnership agreement between the U.S. and Pacific Rim countries holds the potential to increase not only PMT’s exports, but also the exports of the entire manufacturing industry. This growth will lead to more, better-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs and improved economic stability.

The U.S. plastics industry has encountered considerable expansion, and is now the third largest manufacturing segment with a presence in every state. The industry is growing at a rate of 2.3 percent a year, compared to 1.9 percent for manufacturing as a whole. Since 2000, U.S. plastics exports to TPP countries increased more than 91 percent. Exports to the 11 TPP countries totaled more than $34.2 billion last year.

A strong trade agreement opens access for small businesses to experience more aggressive growth in a complex global environment. Broader market access will result in an upsurge in sales and operations. We need robust trade agreements to open markets beyond North America, level the playing field and ultimately boost small American manufacturers like PMT.

Find additional information, resources and further reading about the importance of TPP through the following links: