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Tech industry urges next president to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Seeking high-skilled workers from abroad

Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

On Wednesday, 13 trade groups from Silicon Valley issued an open letter, urging the next US president to show support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Reuters reports. The groups represent key industry leaders like Apple, Google, Facebook, Uber, and Amazon, as well as other lesser-known tech players, who hope the trade agreement will lower barriers to hiring high-tech workers from abroad.

The TPP reduces barriers to trade

In the letter, the groups encourage the presidential candidates to advance "ambitious initiatives to reduce barriers to trade in digital and other goods and services, including obtaining authorization of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement." The TPP agreement, which was signed in February but still has to get congressional approval, aims to reduce trade barriers between 12 countries, including Canada, Japan, Singapore, the US, and Vietnam. Not only do the world's first and third largest economies — US and Japan — feature in the list, but together, the 12 nations account for 40 percent of the world's economy.

"An attack on America's business," says Donald Trump

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have openly criticized the trade deal. Trump has called the TPP "an attack on America's business." Clinton expressed distress about the TPP shipping US workers' jobs overseas. And Sanders has explicitly tagged it as a "disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment, and the foundations of American democracy."

The Silicon Valley heavyweights state that the trade deal could lead to job creation, innovation, and growth for the US. They are also calling for enhanced intellectual property protection, support for the sharing economy, simplified tax code, tighter cybersecurity, data privacy, and more.