U.S. agriculture associations, companies back TPP

by World Grain Staff
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WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), the American Soybean Association (ASA) and the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) endorse the recently released Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, and call on the U.S. Congress to take up and approve the agreement as quickly as possible.

“The TPP will help reduce barriers to trade and open new markets, benefiting American farmers and ranchers, the U.S. economy and ADM,” said Juan Luciano, ADM chief executive officer. “In 2014, American farmers and ranchers and the ag industry sold more than $152 billion in agricultural products to other nations. With lowered trade barriers, that number will only grow, supporting more American jobs and strengthening our rural communities. Our farmers are feeding the world, and the TPP will give them the opportunity to sell even more of their products around the globe.”

The TPP will help to encourage trade and support American exports through a wide variety of measures, particularly the reduction of import taxes on American-made products — including agricultural products—in participating countries. The agreement also includes measures to reduce trade barriers for small businesses, and promotes new technologies to help American businesses sell their products overseas.

"The TPP is a good deal for soybean farmers and our livestock customers. We back it and we will push Congress to do the same," said ASA President Wade Cowan, a farmer from Brownfield, Texas, U.S. "We know that this will further expand our access to valuable markets in Asia and Latin America, but specifically, there are several key sections of the agreement that will move our trade significantly forward. The sanitary and phytosanitary provisions contained in the TPP will help eliminate many of the non-scientific barriers to market entry that hang us up in particular markets, and the biotechnology provisions in the agreement will help to ensure that from export partner to export partner, science is the common framework on which our soybean technology is regulated."

Representatives from a dozen countries — including the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam — signed the agreement in October. It must now be formally ratified by all 12 nations, which in the United States requires majority support in both the U.S. House and Senate.

"If ratified and put into force, TPP will allow the U.S. feed industry to operate on a more level playing field in the Pacific Rim region, a region where other countries have concluded their own bilateral or regional trade agreements that have put the U.S. at a disadvantage,” said Gina Tumbarello, AFIA director of international policy and trade. “This agreement will set the terms and standards for future agreements, holding them to higher standards and expectations."

The TPP, if approved, will eliminate tariffs on soybeans, soybean oil and soybean meal in each of the 12 TPP nations within a set timeframe. In Japan, tariffs on soybean oil will be eliminated within six years. In Vietnam, tariffs will be eliminated in 11 years per the agreement, and in Peru the TPP eliminates tariffs by 2018. Immediately, the agreement lifts tariffs for soybeans, meal and oil in New Zealand, Malaysia and Brunei, as well as on soybean meal in Japan.

"The U.S. and our 11 partner nations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership represent 500 million potential customers and more than 40% of the global economy,” said ASA First Vice-President and Delaware farmer Richard Wilkins. “What's more important, though, is that these partner nations represent many of the most promising established and emerging markets for U.S. soy and meat. The TPP helps grow the markets in these economies, and as they grow, their demand for American products grows as well. Most importantly for soybean farmers, their demand for meat protein grows. That drives production here in the States, which creates demand for our soybean meal as livestock feed."

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