The time has come for Congress to act in a bipartisan manner to ensure the prosperity of our nation and bolster economic growth by ratifying the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

It’s imperative that the U.S. work with our North American trading partners to shape the future of global trade and provide a platform of modernization that will encourage fair market access, stronger workforce enforcement, 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We cannot, as a nation, fully realize our global trade potential and unleash America’s economic strength under an outdated trade policy that was formed 25 years ago.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 rely 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 that honor continued innovation and provide for a better livelihood for workers. 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 total 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 the North American Free Trade Agreement would cost up to 300,000 American jobs, a devastating blow to both the Texas and American economy.

That’s why during our most recent legislative session, we partnered on a bipartisan basis to lead an effort within our respective Republican and Democratic caucuses in the Texas House of Representatives to unanimously support the immediate ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

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 of just 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 for business growth, women entrepreneurs and job creation, so we understand the impact the agreement brings 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.

The agreement preserves and expands integration of our collaborative North American markets while also enabling more certainty, efficiency, and greater interregional investment. That’s not just good for Texas, it’s what’s 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 U.S. for future generations to come.

Rep. Rafael Anchia, a Democrat, is chairman of the Texas House Committee on International Relations & Economic Development; and Rep. Tan Parker, a Republican, is chairman of the Texas Industrial Development Corp.

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