Trade demands our best and that makes us better.

It makes us better producers because we seize more opportunities. It makes us better consumers because we enjoy more choices. It makes us better competitors because it leads to more innovation.

Thats why, as a farmer in Mexico, I support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) the proposed trade agreement between a dozen nations around the Pacific Rim, including the United States, Japan, Canada, Vietnam, and my own country.

When I think back to how my great-grandfather worked our dairy farm, Im amazed at what he did. He bought an operation that milked by hand. Then he introduced a bit of new technologya machine that attached to the cows backs. He used it to milk his herd one by one, in a slow but steady process.

It got the job done and was good enough for its time. By todays standards, however, his modernization is woefully inefficient. Using his methods, we couldnt make it through the 420 cows we currently milk and surely wouldnt generate 37 liters per day from each one.

If he were to come back and examine our operation, it probably would appear to him as an unbelievable scene from a science-fiction movie. Hed be amazed to see the pedometers and heat detectors we use to track the activities of our cows and startled to learn that we even monitor the electrical conductivity in their milk.

We wouldnt have made it this far without trade. Although the march of technology would have delivered some benefits in the absence of trade, the ability to sell our products to customers outside of Mexicoas well as the added competition from dairy farmers in the United States and elsewherehas forced us to adapt and grow.

Trade inspires us not only to keep pace but also to push forward. Were getting better all the time.

Today, were part of the second-largest dairy cooperative in Mexico as well as the only Mexican company that enjoys the ability to sell fluid milk in the United States. This is another way trade has helped us: Weve had to make a lot of improvements to meet the standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has granted us the ability to enter U.S. markets.

This is another thing that would astonish my great grandfather: selling to U.S. customers and meeting U.S. regulatory standards.

Because of trade, our production is more efficient and our milk is of higher quality than ever before.

Im confident that we make the best milk in Mexicoand that we can compete with anyone.

We couldnt have done it without buyers in the United States. Neither could we have done it without American exporters: We havent merely counted on people to drink our milk, weve depended on American inventors and manufacturers to offer us access to new products and services. We produce milk made in Mexico, but were also consumers of technology made in the United States.

I dont think this would have happened without the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which began a generation ago to make it easier to exchange goods and services across our shared continent. Were still separate countries, with our own cultures and languages and loyalties, but our economies are integrated in sensible ways for the benefit of all.

Now Im hoping TPP will offer similar opportunities on a bigger scale. Well come into competition with excellent dairy farmers in Australia and New Zealand. Im sure this will create new pressures and anxietiesbut in the end, this will inspire us to rise to the challenge. Dairy farmers everywhere will improve their practices.

Trade will keep on making us better, in every way imaginable. It will make us better in unimaginable ways, too. Just as my great grandfather couldnt have envisioned what were doing now, I cant foresee all of the changes my great grandchildren will make as they produce milk in Mexico and supply it to the world.

But I do know one thing: the benefits wont arrive on their own.

If were going to continue getting better, it will take public policies that are designed to work with production activities along with social causes as well as wise trade agreementsstarting as soon as possible with TPP.