Last year Alabama-made vehicles were exported to 76 countries around the world. Today, Alabama is the third leading auto-exporting state, trailing only Michigan and South Carolina. This fact may come as a surprise to some. But it highlights how the U.S. auto industry has changed.
This point is important as Congress considers the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). Over the years, International car companies have put down roots all across the U.S., employing hundreds of thousands of Americans and building strong communities. For the record, Global Automakers supports the President’s trade agenda and the TPP. We are excited that the TPP negotiations have concluded because open trade and investment policies help our country stay competitive and give consumers more choice and value at the dealership.
The United States Trade Representative recently released its 2016 Trade Agenda. The report outlines the potential benefits of the TPP for "Michigan cars." President Obama himself took this message on tour as he visited select auto facilities in the Midwest. But that's not the half of it.
As I pointed out, Alabama is an auto state - home to companies like Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota. In a recent Here for America study, we found that these companies have created nearly 80,000 jobs in Alabama.
I don't have any beef with companies that originated here. In fact, I worked at two of them! But times have changed. International auto companies now operate over 30 U.S. manufacturing facilities outside of Michigan. These companies are creating jobs, revitalizing US manufacturing and spurring innovation. Today's auto industry is not about "us versus them" -- if it ever was. It's about all of us, in places from Dearborn, MI, to Marysville, OH, to Montgomery, AL, where hard-working Americans make great cars and trucks helping drive the U.S. economy.