LIVING in Washington state, with the Pacific at our fingertips and Canada a short drive away, it is easy for us to see how active our businesses, farmers and manufacturers are in global trade.
With 40 percent of jobs in Washington tied to trade, we rely on access to the 95 percent of consumers outside of our borders to sell American-made products. It is for this reason that a robust trade agenda is crucial for our state. This includes ensuring the successful negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is a trade agreement the U.S. is currently negotiating with 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
In order to conclude this negotiation and ensure a high standard and comprehensive agreement, Congress must first pass trade-promotion authority (TPA). TPA is the tool that directs our negotiators to secure the best deal possible based on input from the American people through their elected representatives. I encourage our manufacturers, farmers and businesses across the state to engage in support of TPA because it is the linchpin for a successful trade agenda. My colleagues on both sides of the aisle and I need to hear your success stories and we need engagement now, so that we can move quickly. We will get TPA across the finish line, but we need your help to make both TPA and the TPP a reality.
Concluding a high-standard, comprehensive TPP would mean more jobs and more opportunities for Washingtonians in all industries. This issue is not without debate on Capitol Hill, as some argue that the negotiating process has not been transparent or that trade does not in fact create jobs.