(This article originally appeared in Broadcasting & Cable on March 13, 2018)
TechNet, whose members include Comcast, Verizon and AT&T as well as Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook, has called on President Trump to return the country to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying its absence as a participant in TPP "would jeopardize our nation's economic growth, weaken our relationship with some or our most important allies and cede important economic opportunities...to China."
The President pulled the U.S. out of the multilateral trade treaty, suggesting it was a bad deal.
TechNet wrote the President after a push by 25 Senators to "re-engage" with TPP after the President suggested he might be open to that.
In the letter, TechNet president Linda Moore said its 81 members were in solidarity with those senators. "The technology industry has long supported the TPP, and we strongly encourage you and your administration to ensure the U.S. does not miss out on all the economic opportunities this trade agreement has to offer our nation," she told the President.
She also said strong digital trade rules are key to a thriving tech sector, and by extension, the U.S. economy.
"[T]he ubiquity of the internet has opened markets once out of reach to the local American entrepreneur, torn down barriers to entry that prevented small businesses from growing beyond their communities, and facilitated the transfer of data, goods and services at speeds once unimaginable," she wrote.
TPP is a historic Pacific Rim agreement with 11 other countries that TV and film producers, tech companies and others had backed as a way to expand trade and access to Asia-Pacific markets.