Letter: Bipartisan votes free up trade

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A lot of us express our frustration at the state of Washington and Washington, D.C., politics: the partisanship, the gridlock and the lack of action to help our economy grow. So when our elected officials take a bold, brave vote on behalf of our state, it’s just as important to make sure they see our appreciation.

Recently, Sen. Patty Murray, Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler all voted in favor of the free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. These free trade agreements represent the most significant progress on trade in the last 15 years, and have the potential to significantly increase jobs and economic opportunity for our state. The increase in agricultural exports alone is estimated to be more than $52 million.

Our senators and representative faced great pressure to oppose these measures, and we should be grateful for their willingness to take tough votes on what will benefit our state’s economy. So, as president of the Washington Council on International Trade and on behalf of businesses and residents throughout the 3rd Congressional District, I wanted to take a moment to thank them publicly, and I invite others to join me.

Eric Schinfeld

Seattle