By State Reps. Tan Parker & Rafael Anchia
AUSTIN, Texas (Texas Insider Report) — As the nation’s export leader, Texas would benefit from the approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The time has come for the Congress to act in a bipartisan manner to ensure both the prosperity of our nation, and bolster economic growth by ratifying the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA.)
It is imperative for the United States to work with our North American trading partners to:
- Shape the future of Global Trade
- Provide a Platform of Economic Modernization
- Encourage Fair Market Access
- Encourage Stronger Workforce Enforcement
- Encourage Improved Environmental Protections, and the
- Ability to further innovate under a Collaborative Agreement designed for the 21st Century
We cannot, as a nation, fully realize our global trade potential and unleash America’s economic strength under an outdated trade policy that was formed 25 years ago. Our businesses, workers, manufacturers, farmers, ranchers and consumers are relying on Congress to set the course of action that will further boost economic growth and support millions of jobs across every state in the union.
Texas serves as a prime example in understanding the magnitude of adopting modern trade policies. Not only is Texas the 10th largest economy in the world and a global trade powerhouse, our state is also the nation’s No. 1 exporter, accounting for almost 20 percent of the nation’s trade, with 45 percent of our exports going to Mexico and Canada.
With nearly 1 million Texas jobs supported by North American trade, the elimination of NAFTA would cost up to 300,000 American jobs, a devastating blow to both the Texas and U.S. economy.
That is why during our most recent legislative session, we partnered on a bipartisan basis to lead an effort within the Republican and Democratic caucuses in the Texas House of Representatives to unanimously support the immediate ratification of USMCA.
There are many dimensions to the Texas economy, from agriculture and manufacturing to a world of intellectual property and e-commerce, that are strengthening the economic fabric not just of our state but also the entire North American region. Texas needs policies that are current and provide a framework for the robust development of innovation, technology and intellectual product advancement.
Texas leads the nation in business growth, women entrepreneurs and job creation, so we understand the impact of USMCA in supporting high-paying jobs that will benefit our nation’s workforce. Furthermore, Texas is rich in natural resources and a national leader in energy production, exporting $16.8 billion to Canada and Mexico in 2017 alone.
USMCA preserves and expands integration of our collaborative North American markets while also enabling more certainty, efficiency and greater inter-regional investment. That is not just good for Texas, it is what is best for America.
Together, let us move past politics and focus on maintaining America’s strength under a modernized trade policy that not only benefits the businesses and workers of today but also sets the stage for a more stable, secure and prosperous United States for future generations to come.
Texas State Representative Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound,) representing House Dist. 63, is former chairman of the Texas Industrial Development Corporation. Texas State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas,) representing House Dist. 103, was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy & Negotiations and is chairman of the House Committee on International Relations & Economic Development.