In recent months, there has been quite a bit of debate around global trade and how our current agreements have impacted families and communities across the country. Often, these conversations focus on whether we should create and protect jobs here in the United States or work together with our international allies. While that is a critical consideration for any trade negotiation, there are agreements that can accomplish both goals.
The Kigali Amendment is one such agreement. This amendment is an update to the Montreal Protocol, which is an international agreement originally developed and ratified when President Ronald Reagan was in office. Bottom line, the Kigali Amendment will result in $5 billion in additional American exports and 150,000 new domestic jobs, including more than 33,000 direct manufacturing positions, according to a recently released study. With the ongoing challenges in our manufacturing sector and more jobs being outsourced every year to low wage countries, this agreement will help American blue collar workers and American companies.
One of the reasons President Donald Trump became our president is that he promised to fight for American workers, and to only support trade deals that were good for the American people and especially American manufacturing workers. The Kigali Amendment clears the high bar the President has set for something to earn his support. I hope he evaluates the deal, reaches the same conclusion I have about how it is a win for America, and decides to send it to the U.S. Senate for ratification.
The Kigali Amendment is related to the technologies used in heating, air conditioning and refrigeration. Since first developed by American innovators, our nation has been the global leader in this marketplace and is already at the forefront in developing the next generation cooling technologies that will be used in homes and businesses across the globe in the coming years. With population growth, the international marketplace around this industry will more than double over the next ten years. Since the U.S. has always been the global leader in this area, we expect this expanded market will increase demand for American made products, technologies, and expertise. However, that depends on whether or not the Kigali Amendment is ratified in the Senate.
Right now, global trade practices in this industry have been unfair and illegal. The U.S. International Trade Council found that Chinese firms dumped millions of cheap coolants into our market. The Kigali Amendment will provide greater protections against these practices to ensure competition and trade practices are fair to everyone, including American workers.
As past chairwoman of the National Federation of Republican Women Armed Services Committee, I’m keenly aware of the struggle that some men and women in our military have finding employment. Many of these manufacturing jobs that could potentially be created by the Kigali Amendment are perfect for veterans. Manufacturing employers are often looking for new employees that are proven leaders and perform well under pressure. All of these are qualities we can find with our veterans.
A wide range of individuals and organizations support the Kigali Amendment, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Chemistry Council, the American Council for Capital Formation, and a group of 13 Republican members of the U.S. Senate. As president, Donald Trump has been fighting for just this type of agreement. I hope he will call on the U.S. Senate to ratify the Kigali Amendment so we can rebuild America’s manufacturing base, grow jobs, and maintain our global leadership position in this critical industry.