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Cornyn: In Texas, trade is not a dirty word

Free trade has taken a lot of hits this campaign season. Candidates from both parties have argued that this core tenet of capitalism should be completely rewritten, if not entirely erased. The reasoning goes something like this: If we open up our economy and cut trade deals with other countries, we run the risk of sending American jobs overseas. That may sound convincing, but those claims are often exaggerated and ignore the tremendous benefits trade provides folks here at home. And it flies in the face of what we've experienced here in Texas and across the United States. 

Ground Truth: Trade Powers U.S. Economy

Given the heated rhetoric of this political season, it is easy to lose sight of how powerful trade remains for the U.S. economy. For example, 41 million American jobs – more than one in five – depend on global trade. Open markets abroad have and will continue to generate economic growth and job creation in the United States. Here are three baseline facts about the impact of trade on American jobs and workers.

Trade Generates Economic Growth & Opportunity for America’s Exporters

With more than 95 percent of the world’s population outside of our borders, U.S. trade agreements help America’s exporters sell more goods and services to customers overseas. Exports accounted for one-third of U.S. economic growth between 2009 and 2014. The United States exported an estimated $1.6 trillion in goods and $710.6 billion in services in 2014 alone, including these top exports.

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