Today, the White House released the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for public review. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President and Chugwater, Wyo., cattleman Philip Ellis confirmed that this agreement is a major victory for the cattle industry:
“We were pleased to have the opportunity to review the TPP agreement in full today and it confirms the positive results our negotiators were able to achieve over the past five years of talks. The TPP represents the highest standard of trade agreements and provides the foundation for increased access and lower tariffs to the Pacific Rim markets. TPP member nations already account for over 60 percent of total beef exports, and lower tariffs will allow us to continue to grow our market share in that region.
“While the agreement is not perfect, it is a vast improvement over the current tariff rates, and the greatest market access that has ever been negotiated to Japan. Clearly, working collaboratively we were able to achieve more than we could have alone. The TPP will immediately reduce the tariff to Japan, our largest market for U.S. beef, from 38.5 percent to 27.5 percent. And tariffs will continue to decrease, in some cases be eliminated, over the next 15 years.
“Every day that goes by before we pass this TPP costs U.S. producers market share in the Pacific Rim. And every day, competing nations continue to negotiate agreements benefiting their producers and domestic economies. Since passage of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership in late 2014, we have lost over 11 percent of our sales into Japan. Our market share will continue to erode until TPP is signed into law. America’s cattle producing families produce the best beef in the world and deserve a level playing field to compete for global customers; TPP is an outstanding start.”