The National Corn Growers Association and the U.S. Grains Council last Friday pledged their support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a day after the full text was released by the White House.
“We are pleased that the U.S. is on the path toward approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement,” said Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association and a farmer from Newburg, Md. “This agreement will give America’s farmers and ranchers greater access to the Asia-Pacific region, bringing more American grains, meat, and dairy to the rest of the world. That’s why NCGA members will be going to Capitol Hill and asking Congress to vote in favor of the TPP agreement.”
The Asia-Pacific region represents 40 percent of the world’s economy and is one of the fastest-growing areas of the world, the organizations noted.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership will have significant benefits for exports of corn in all forms,” said Alan Tiemann, chairman of the U.S. Grains Council and a farmer from Seward, Neb. “Over the coming decades, this will help our members expand their overseas sales and grow their businesses. We look forward to working with our grain industry partners to tell the story of trade successes in our industry and how TPP will take those wins to the next level.”
Most agricultural organizations gave some level of support to the TPP agreement while they reserved full support to analyze the entire text in case something was hidden in the agreement that might hinder their support. Even NCGA and USGC, which doesn’t foresee anything troublesome in the agreement at this point will analyze the document with a fine-toothed comb.
“We expect the agreement will provide tariff relief, ease non-tariff barriers, improve trade facilitation and prompt systemic shifts in the ag marketplaces of TPP countries that will ultimately generate new demand for U.S. coarse grains and their co-products. In the weeks ahead, we will continue to analyze the details of the agreement along with our overseas offices,” Tiemann said.
“We are optimistic that the TPP agreement will increase U.S. agricultural exports, which not only increases farm incomes, but also generates economic development in rural communities,” said Bowling. “We look forward to working with our partners in the livestock community and throughout agriculture to break down trade barriers and promote a level global playing field for American farmers and ranchers.”
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, upon release of the TPP agreement, “The release of the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an important step forward in the process to make this landmark agreement for U.S. agriculture a reality. The text confirms that this agreement provides new market access across the board for America’s farmers and ranchers by lowering tariffs and eliminating other barriers, and will boost exports and support jobs in our rural economies.
At the end of the day, TPP is about opportunity. The agreement will advance U.S. economic interests in a critical region that accounts for nearly 40 percent of global GDP. It will also help the United States respond to the regional and bilateral trade agreements that are already in place or are being negotiated by competitor countries. This high standard agreement will expand U.S. agricultural exports, generate more rural economic activity, and support higher-paying American jobs. I encourage our farmers and ranchers to take a look at what’s in the deal for them, and I hope that after a period of consideration and review in the coming months, Congress will move quickly to pass this agreement.”