Two Sides of TPP

Taylor Hillman General

foreign trade
While many agriculture groups have been constant voices in favor of the Trans Pacific Partnership, other groups are asking lawmakers to vote against the deal. Sabrina Hill reports.

Two Sides of TPP – listen to the full audio report here.

While in Washington D.C. April 27, I spoke with a member of one such group. The United Stealworkers Union was out in force, with more than a hundred members talking with lawmakers about TPP. Amber Miller is the national rapid response coordinator, who organized their event.

Some agriculture groups such as the National Farmers Union are also against the TPP as it currently stands. However, other major groups like the American Farm Bureau and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association say not only does ag need TPP, but the industry needs it very soon.
California Congressman and dairy farmer David Valadao agrees. Hear his comments in the audio report above.

More on TPP:

From the American Farm Bureau:
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 23, 2016 – The Trans-Pacific Partnership will tear down trade barriers and help level the playing field for U.S. agricultural exports to 11 nations across the Pacific Rim. Ratifying TPP will boost annual net farm income in the United States by $4.4 billion, compared to not approving the pact, according to an economic analysis conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“TPP will mean a boat-load of expanded exports and increased demand for America’s agricultural products,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “Clearly, America’s farmers and ranchers have much to gain from approval of TPP and we support its ratification. American agriculture is a growth industry, and to continue that trend, we must expand our market opportunities.”

Not approving the trade deal would have adverse effects, too.

“While our farmers and ranchers have a lot to gain with passage, the consequences of not approving the deal would be harmful,” Duvall said. “Every day we delay means lost markets as other TPP countries implement the deal’s advantages with each other. We are already arriving at the party late because, right now, expanded trade due to TPP is going on across the Pacific Rim – just without us.”

While procedural steps along the way will take time, Duvall said “the sooner TPP is ratified, the better it will be for American agriculture.”

AFBF’s analysis forecasts farm-price increases for corn (5 cents per bushel), soybeans (12 cents per bushel), wheat (2 cents per bushel) and rice (16 cents per hundredweight). While cotton prices are not projected to change, cash receipts are projected to increase by $21 million.

AFBF also predicts price increases for beef ($2.66 per hundredweight), pork ($2.45 per hundredweight) and poultry ($1.40 per hundredweight). In the dairy sector, prices will increase for butter ($2.81 per hundredweight), cheese ($1.68 per hundredweight), nonfat dry milk ($1.29 per hundredweight) and all milk (21 cents per hundredweight).

Net trade is expected to increase for rice, cotton, beef, pork, poultry, butter, cheese, soybeans and products and non-fat dry milk, according to AFBF’s analysis.

While the analysis projects that the net trade for corn will decline by 45.3 million bushels, overall demand and use for corn is forecast to increase by 54.2 million bushels. Corn revenues are expected to rise by $680 million per year and prices are projected to rise by 5 cents per bushel, due to higher domestic feed use from additional beef and pork exports created by TPP.

The agreement has been approved by negotiators from the 12 TPP nations. The U.S. International Trade Commission is preparing an official analysis for the administration, which will formally ask Congress to ratify the deal.

The full analysis is posted here. State fact sheets are posted at:

From the National Farmers Union:
WASHINGTON (February 23, 2016) – The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is having a hard time attracting much support on Capitol Hill, so the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) briefed reporters about TPP’s benefits in hopes of reviving the fledgling trade deal. But one farm organization, representing 200,000 family farmers and ranchers, was quick to point out that USDA’s projections of job growth and rural prosperity closely mirror the failed promises of past trade pacts.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson offered the following statement following the USDA media call:

“The year-after-year growth of the U.S. trade deficit is an alarming trend for an already stressed agriculture economy. To broadly categorize agriculture as benefitting from this agreement is not giving due diligence to the serious concerns that are not addressed by TPP.

“While access to global markets is important for American agriculture, a trade agreement that does little to fix currency manipulation, reign in foreign predatory trade practices, or improve the $531 billion trade imbalance is not the solution.

“In its current form, the TPP stands to hurt our rural economies by pitting American jobs against foreign labor that is paid mere pennies per hour. Beyond the farm gate, any consumer that cares about where their food comes from should be concerned with the TPP.

“This is an issue that affects all Americans alike. I continue to urge Congress to give thoughtful consideration to opposing the TPP.”

In January, Johnson testified to the U.S. International Trade Commission about TPP. His testimony can be read here.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.