Obama to promote TPP at USDA today | TSLN.com

Obama to promote TPP at USDA today

President Barack Obama will travel to the Agriculture Department late this morning to join Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack “for a meeting with agriculture and business leaders on the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for American business and workers,” the White House announced late Monday.

Meanwhile, farm groups continued to issue statements that they look forward to reviewing the details of the agreement when they become available:

The American Farm Bureau Federation praised Darci Vetter, the chief agricultural trade negotiator, as well as U.S. Trade Representative Michael Forman. “Now it is up to us to figure out exactly what we have and how we should work with Congress to improve international market opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers through the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

The American Feed Industry Association: “Trade agreements, which eliminate trade barriers overseas, play a critical role in the future of the feed industry as it opens doors to new markets globally. This is particularly important as the future growth of the U.S. animal agriculture industry depends on international consumers, particularly, the growing population and middle class.”

The American Forest & Paper Association: “We’re hopeful that TPP negotiators have reached an agreement that addresses some of the most pressing issues for paper and wood products manufacturers. These include the speedy elimination of tariffs on paper, packaging and wood products and strong provisions committing TPP countries to fight illegal logging and associated trade. We congratulate the negotiators on concluding the TPP agreement and look forward to examining it carefully.”

The American Soybean Association: “Over half of the soybeans produced by American farmers are exported overseas, and export markets are extremely important to our domestic livestock customers as well. From the statements made by our negotiators, it appears that the agreement will eliminate tariffs and other market access barriers in most markets, and substantially increase access in remaining markets. We are optimistic that soybeans, soybean products, and the livestock products produced by our customers all will fare well in the TPP agreement when specific details are revealed.”

Cargill: “We believe the Trans-Pacific Partnership will allow food to move more freely across borders from places of plenty to places of need, which benefits farmers and consumers around the world.”

The National Foreign Trade Council called the agreement “a milestone in rules governing trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region.”

The Sweetener Users Association: “We commend Ambassador Froman and the negotiating team for their work to conclude the TPP agreement and to craft a deal which reversed the U.S. sugar lobby’s previously successful efforts to keep Australian sugar out of the U.S. market.

“Based on the details that have been released, the TPP will provide much-needed additional market access for U.S. sugar imports from Australia. However, we need more sugar than provided by the agreement. While we have gained 65,000 metric tons in additional access, the effect of the 23 percent additional quota allocation is still largely unknown. What is known is that U.S. users of sugar are facing a shortfall in sugar availability that far exceeds the 65,000 metric tons in new sugar allocation clearly provided to Australia.”

The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association: “The opportunities for U.S. beef exports is significant under this deal and we look forward to reviewing the specific parameters of the deal when it is released to the public.”

“The potential benefits to the industry are significant; however, certain trade provisions must first be carefully scrutinized. Increases in New Zealand dairy exports have the potential to create a significant impact on the U.S. market while Japan, the third largest economy in the world and a major import market for U.S. beef, still has a tariff rate of around 38 percent on U.S. beef products. TPP offers an opportunity to level the playing field for U.S. producers by lowering and phasing out tariffs, making U.S. beef more competitive in the global market.”

“USCA has worked with the administration to ensure that necessary safeguards and snap-back provisions are included in any international trade agreement moving forward. The initial reports on TPP signal that these matters have been considered and we will review the actual agreement and terms when they are published. After publication, we will review all applicable provisions prior to issuing an official statement of support.”

The U.S. Grains Council: “As we dig into the details of the agreement for grains and ethanol, we do so with expectation about the huge potential of markets that offer 800 million customers with a combined GDP of $28 trillion.”

U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers: “The high standards in the TPP agreement should help us be more competitive and hopefully lead to even more opportunity for our wheat as new countries join TPP in the future.”

Walmart: “We believe this historic agreement will reduce the cost of goods and increase choice for our customers in the Asia-Pacific and the United States, and we look forward to reviewing the details of the agreement.”

Western Growers, which represents produce growers in California and Colorado, noted that the TPP countries represent more than 46 percent of our fruit, vegetable and tree nut exports. The group said the agreement provides a framework for additional countries to join and that it will be looking to see if expectations for strong sanitary and phytosanitary enforcement provisions have been fulfilled.

–The Hagstrom Report

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