It was exciting news yesterday that the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations among Pacific Rim nations have resulted in a final agreement. If ratified, this treaty would not only benefit the United States as a whole, but also uniquely and specifically the Los Angeles economy, which serves as the gateway to and from the U.S. for trade with these economies.

We live in a global economy that is more seamless every day. Creating political obstacles or policy walls to try to fight this basic reality is tantamount to screaming into the wind, and it only serves to hurt us all.

If we want good paying jobs in the U.S. and a better quality of life for all members of our society, we must grow our share of the world economic pie. Removing barriers to trade with other countries is an effective strategy to achieve that goal. 

The Asia-Pacific region is a logical focus for American trade. According to the International Monetary Fund, the world economy will grow by more than $20 trillion over the next five years, and nearly half of that growth will be in Asia. U.S. workers and businesses need access to those markets, but our companies are falling behind.

While U.S. exports to the Asia-Pacific market steadily increased from 2000 to 2010, America’s share of the region’s imports declined by 43 percent. Excluding China, East Asia purchased a smaller share of U.S. exports in 2014 than it did five years earlier, despite a 54 percent increase in total U.S. exports in that period.

One reason U.S. companies have lost market share in the Asia-Pacific region is that a number of countries maintain steep barriers against U.S. products and services. The TPP has been crafted to eliminate those barriers.

Share your support for TPP with your U.S. Senators and House Members, and let Governor Brown and Mayor Garcetti know as well. Don’t let foreign tariffs on American exports be a barrier to job growth for our nation and region.