Most people don’t realize that potatoes grown by Washington’s family farmers are enjoyed around the globe. Nearly 60 percent of the potatoes raised in Washington are sent to foreign consumers. This global demand results in 36,000 jobs dependent on potato exports and international trade from our farms to Washington’s ports.
That is why we applaud those Washington congressional members who supported Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), even when others have turned their back on these incredible leaders who battle for our state’s workers and employers. TPA not only allows the U.S. to have clear direction as it negotiates new agreements to open markets for exports, but also sends a clear message from Congress that we need high-standard rules to level the international playing field.
TPA paves the way for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement between 12 Asia-Pacific countries. By eliminating 18,000 taxes on exports, TPP forges equitable food prices around the world. For example, Vietnamese consumers pay a 20 percent tax on every dollar to purchase an imported U.S. potato. TPP will wipe out these taxes, making food more affordable.
We applaud our members of Congress who supported TPA and fight for our state’s residents and farmers.
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Matt Harris, Moses Lake