The following op-ed was authored by Paul R. Miller, Director of External Relations, Cummins Corporate Research & Technology
When I began in 1982, Cummins had around $1 billion in revenue, dominated by the North American Heavy-Duty Truck market, while international sales were small, but growing.
Trade and exports have allowed us to maintain and grow our competitive edge, acquire the very best components from a diverse supply chain where they are needed, and grow our international presence in ways that would have never been possible had we remained a North American Heavy-Duty focused company. Today I work in research and technology where I manage our relationships with external research and development funding agencies and lead our efforts to grow and leverage our externally funded research and technology programs.
Our work in research and technology has allowed us to create opportunities for success across the globe by meeting emissions standards anywhere in the world and working outside of the U.S. on government cost-shared R&D projects focusing on innovative fuel consumption and GHG emission reductions in the industries we serve. I am hopeful that we can continue to create new trade agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that can help drive further growth for Cummins. TPP is especially important to my work and to the work of others at CTC because it strengthens our ability to protect the intellectual property we are creating, through strong and balanced rules that will protect and promote exports of our IP-intensive products and services.
From my experiences, both professional and personal, we live in a world where artificial barriers, in the long run, are never sustainable or healthy. Barriers to trade, such as tariffs, only suppress the motivation for productivity and growth, and lead to systemic decline. I’ve experienced firsthand the impact of unwise economic and trade policies in the native country of extended family members. Though there are complex historical, political, and social factors involved as well, this country’s population is suffering in untold ways from the effects of more than a decade of hostile trade policies. Their once burgeoning and vibrant middle class has shrunken dramatically with everyday food and household products being scarce and expensive, if available at all.
We must never take even a single step in that direction, and we should support strong trade policies, like TPP, that support jobs and the economy and also raise the standard of living in countries throughout the world.
The Block – Making the Case for International Trade
The Indianapolis Business Journal – Cummins CEO: Companies Need to Stand Up for Free Trade, TPP
Inside Indiana Business – TPP Shines Spotlight on International Trade
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