The importance of trade and the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is critical for the future economic well-being of American agriculture was a key message last week at the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade’s hearing on “Advancing the U.S. Trade Agenda.”
The American Farm Bureau Federation says that implementation of TPP would increase net agricultural exports to TPP countries by $5.3 billion annually and boost net farm income $4.4 billion annually. Key items in the TPP are the reduction and elimination of tariffs; greater transparency; rapid-response in addressing issues concerning an inbound shipment which is being restricted; and addressing non-tariff trade barriers.
Critical is the commitment by the TPP countries to base Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures either on international standards or on science-based decision making. The National Pork Producers Council says, TPP is the “biggest commercial opportunity ever for the U.S. pork industry.” NPPC says free trade agreements are critical to U.S. pork producers. The U.S. now exports more pork to the 20 countries with which the United States has FTAs than to the rest of the world combined. Other issues discussed at the hearing were Cuba and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.