अच्छी खबर यह है कि कांग्रेस अंत में पिछले सप्ताह व्यापार संवर्धन प्राधिकरण से पारित कर दिया है, क्या सबसे कठिन वोट हमारे सांसदों अब तक इस साल डाली है हो सकता है में.

The bad news is that TPA was the easy part. The truly hard part comes soon, when President Obamas administration finishes the negotiation of a major free-trade agreement with 11 other countries.

Then well see a vote that really counts.

The final tally on TPA in the House of Representatives was 219-211. In the Senate, it was 60-38. Those are magic numbers in both chambers: A simple majority in the House requires 218 votes and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate needs 60 senators.

These results mean that the bipartisan coalition behind TPA cannot afford to lose a single vote when Congress considers an actual free-trade pact.

Thats the whole point of TPA: To make it possible for members of Congress to have a responsible debate over a proposed trade agreement and then give it an up-or-down vote. Its an indispensible procedure. Without it, there will be no trade agreements. With it, trade agreements will receive their proper considerationthough theres no guarantee of passage.

I want to thank my two senatorsMaria Cantwell and Patty Murray of Washingtonfor doing the right thing. Theyre among the 13 Democrats in the Senate who supported TPAa brave bakers dozen who stood up to their partys protectionist majority

Trade matters to us in the Pacific Northwest. Were not only on the border of Canada, our biggest trade partner, but also connected by water to the vast markets of Asia. Boeing builds airplanes near Seattle and Microsoft sells software around the world.

Washington State exports more than $100 billion in goods and services each year, and nearly a million jobs depend on trade. Among the 50 states, ours is the fourth-most dependent on customers in other countries.

Farmers like me have a special need for global markets. My main crop is alfalfa seed, and more than one-third of all the alfalfa seed in the United States go to foreign buyers. One section of my farm, असल में, is devoted to alfalfa seed for Saudi Arabia.

When Im not raising alfalfa, Im growing wheat in rotationand about 80 percent of the wheat produced in Washington ships overseas.

So although Cantwell and Murray offered profiles in courage for breaking with their party, they also voted their states interest.

The same cant be said for Republican senators who voted against TPA. There were five of them, including a couple of presidential candidates: Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

I have to admit, I have liked both of these guys. Im interested in their candidaciesor at least I was, until they revealed themselves as protectionists.

The case of Cruz is especially galling. His state exports more than $300 billion each year. No state exports more. कुछ 3 million Texans have trade-related jobs.

अप्रैल में, he co-authored an op-ed with Rep. Paul Ryan for the Wall Street Journal. TPA is what U.S. negotiators need to win a fair deal for the American worker, they wrote. We strongly urge our colleagues in Congress to vote for trade-promotion authority.

दो महीने बाद, तथापि, Cruz flip-flopped, announcing his opposition to TPA. (Ryan stayed true to his words.)

This is what makes Americans so cynical about our federal government: Politicians who say one thing, but do another.

As much as Cruz may fuel cynicism, हालांकि, the experience of TPA should have the opposite effect because the biggest complaint Americans have about their leaders in Washington is that they take the short view, fall into partisan bickering, and fail to get much done.

TPA bucks this trend. It has brought together President Obama and congressional Republicans, encouraging them to set aside their differences and unite for the long-term good of the country.

Well see if they can keep it up in the near future, when President Obama submits the Trans-Pacific Partnership to Congress for an up-or-down vote. This proposed free-trade agreement, which will include the United States and 11 other nations, is the reason we just went through a big debate over TPA.

Everybody who just did the right thing will have to do it all over again.

Mark Wagoner is a third generation farmer in Walla Walla County, Washington where they raise alfalfa seed. Mark volunteers as a Board member for Truth About Trade & प्रौद्योगिकी (www.truthabouttrade.org).

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