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Thank you Representatives Denham and Costa for supporting free trade
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Dear Editor,

Representatives Jeff Denham (R-CA-10) and Jim Costa (D-CA-16) recently demonstrated their continued support for California workers and businesses by voting in favor of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation. TPA is critical to securing strong trade agreements that open markets for American-made goods and services worldwide.

To understand what strong new trade agreements could mean for California, consider the current impact of international trade: more than 4.7 million California jobs and nearly $280 million in goods and services in 2013. Dairy product exports have increased by 31 percent per year since 2003. Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc. is building a new plant to supply these growing global markets. Without trade, these new jobs would not be in the Central Valley.

Ninety-five percent of the world's population and 80 percent of the world’s purchasing power lives outside of the United States. By voting for TPA, Representatives Denham and Costa voted for new opportunities for California farmers, workers, and job creators to reach international consumers.

I want to thank Representatives Denham and Costa for standing up for California’s Central Valley. I appreciate their continued efforts to get this critical legislation to the President's desk.

— David Ahlem, Chief Operating Officer, Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc.