The U.S. is close to an important regional trade negotiation with Trans-Pacific Partnership. But getting TPP over the finish line requires passage of Trade Promotion Authority, which defines U.S. negotiating objectives and priorities for trade agreements and establishes notification requirements throughout the negotiation process.

TPA allows U.S. negotiators to obtain better deals from trading partners. It also addresses issues like labor and environmental standards, human rights and intellectual property protections. TPA will empower U.S. trade officials to pursue many free trade agreements, but it's the TPP that is paramount for our business and agricultural sectors.

For U.S. agriculture, trade is vital. The $150.5 billion in agricultural products exported in 2014 supported more than one million American jobs, and for every $1 in farm exports, and additional $1.22 in business activity was stimulated. 2014's agricultural exports generated another $183.6 billion in economic activity in the U.S. Locally, more than 36,000 jobs were supported by exports — with 3,500 of those in Oklahoma's pork industry.

Oklahoma farmers benefit from trade, especially with countries with which the U.S. has FTAs. When it comes to pork, we send more to our FTA partners than to all other countries combined.

Passing free trade agreements, such as TPP, will create U.S. jobs and benefit our economy. The first step to getting those agreements finalized is approving TPA and signaling to our partners around the globe that the U.S. is committed to free and fair trade.

Dottie King is a hog farmer from Calvin.

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