State and county Farm Bureau leaders are encouraging the nation’s farmers to urge Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement this fall.
“Our farm and ranch businesses lose when our nation leaves trade deals on the table that would level the playing field,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “American-grown and -made means quality, and customers around the world know this. But high tariffs and other trade barriers put in place by countries like Japan will keep shutting out American businesses and agricultural goods if we refuse to lead the way in approving trade agreements that would move us forward.”
It is estimated that, under TPP, annual net farm income will increase by $4.4 billion, driven by an increase of direct U.S. agricultural exports, and that 40,100 jobs will be added to the U.S. economy.
On Sept. 21, the AFBF, along with the Coalition of Services Industries, the Information Technology Industry Council and the National Association of Manufacturers called on President Obama and Congressional leadership to work together to approve the TPP by the end of the year.
In a letter, Duvall and presidents of the other three groups laid out the benefits expected to accrue from the deal—an accord that will give American farms, ranches and companies access to nearly 500 million consumers in the Asia-Pacific region.
“As the most productive industries in the world, our enterprises need access to new consumers and markets to sustain, let alone grow, production and good-paying jobs,” they wrote. “Yet U.S. industries face increasing competition as our global competitors are benefiting from trade deals that exclude and disadvantage the United States. …The status quo is not acceptable for industries that need new markets to sustain and grow our workforce in the United States.”
For more information or to take action, go to http://tpp.fb.org/.