Highlighting Free Trade at Major Exporter Solar Turbines

Free trade is essential to Caterpillar’s global competitiveness. We devote significant time and resources to ensuring that the global marketplace has access to Caterpillar products. Over the past five years, Caterpillar exports totaled nearly $88 billion. In fact, at Caterpillar subsidiary Solar Turbines, 75 percent of sales come from exports. 

That global reach is why Solar hosted U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Representative Scott Peters (D-CA) for a tour and discussion of how free trade benefits American businesses and their employees. Products from Solar Turbines play an important role in the development of oil, natural gas and power generation projects around the world.

The key to completing ambitious trade deals currently under negotiation is the passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). We need the continued benefit of access to foreign markets and overseas customers through trade, and need Congress to approve TPA. By renewing this authority that expired in 2007, the President and Congress can work effectively to craft, finalize and ensure the quick passage of trade agreements that support and create jobs here in the U.S. and around the world. Did you know that prior to 2007, each president since Franklin Roosevelt has had this authority? 

Ambassador Froman and Representative Peters chose Solar Turbines as a showcase for the importance of trade to America’s ability to compete. Representative Peters highlighted Solar’s important manufacturing presence in the San Diego community and noted in a news release that exports are critical to job creation. 

Ambassador Froman credited Solar – and Caterpillar in general - for consistently engaging the voice of its employees on trade issues. In a release, Ambassador Froman added, “Record-high exports from Californian businesses like Solar Turbines Incorporated… support nearly one million jobs across California. Now, as we work to realize a groundbreaking new trade agreement with the Asia Pacific region and to harness bipartisan support in Congress for trade, we’re on the threshold of delivering a major economic win for California and the United States.”

Caterpillar is no stranger to the benefits of previous Free Trade Agreements. Our exports significantly increased following the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, because it was easier for us to sell the products we make in the U.S. But there’s more to be done. Caterpillar exports still face trade barriers in many parts of Asia and Latin America, and European markets could be further opened. Negotiations on critical trade initiatives like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment are already underway. It's time to let our trading partners know the United States is serious about expanding trade.

Solar Turbines

Solar Turbines manufactures mid-size industrial gas turbines for use in electric power generation, gas compression, and pumping systems.

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Pablo Koziner

Pablo Koziner is a Caterpillar vice president and president of Solar Turbines Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., based in San Diego, California.

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