Re “Why all the secrecy?” (Opinions, March 8): Robert Reich and Richard Trumka’s recently published op-ed opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership argues that “the payoffs from trade agreements have mainly gone to those at the top.” But Reich and Trumka overlook the fact that decreased barriers to trade grow trade-related businesses of all sizes here at home, growing jobs in communities in California and across the country.
Free-trade agreements allow U.S. businesses to more easily tap into lucrative customer bases abroad. For states like California, where trade supports 4.4 million jobs, these agreements could mean an enormous boost in the state’s economy and trade-related jobs. California’s agricultural sector, which exported more than $21.2 billion in goods in 2013, has among the greatest potential to benefit from a trade deal. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, California’s agriculture exports have nearly tripled since 2003.
With greater access to markets for export, farmers will add customers abroad and expand business at home.
To successfully negotiate these agreements, Congress first needs to pass Trade Promotion Authority for the president. Our California congressmen should work together to pass TPA and create more opportunities for our workers and businesses through trade.
Richard Farrell, Riverbank