August 27, 2016

South Dakota Congressional Delegation Talks TPP

With opposition on the campaign trail from both major U.S. presidential candidates, supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal are worried that it could be the ‘end of the road’ for an opportunity to pass the 12-nation, tariff-slashing pact this year.

Some pundits on Capitol Hill say the current political climate regarding trade deals is the worst they’ve seen in decades – and trade supporters are left speculating what will happen next.

TPP was a topic last week during an informational forum at Dakotafest last week – featuring South Dakota’s congressional delegation.

Representative Kristi Noem told folks there are benefits to trade agreements that have been lost in the debate.

Dakotafest NoemNoem on TPP

Senator John Thune said he’s hopeful something can be figured out on TPP “once the dust settles” after the elections.

Thune on TPPDakotafest Thune

With rhetoric about TPP on the campaign trail running high, Senator Mike Rounds tried to clear up some misconceptions about the deal – and explain how important it is to South Dakota agriculture.

Dakotafest RoundsRounds on TPP

President Obama signaled earlier this month he still intends to submit the TPP deal to Congress for a vote. The president often speaks of TPP as a tool to prevent China from writing the rules of trade in the future.

Earlier this summer, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all but ruled out the possibility of Congress voting on TPP this year, but he said the deal could still be modified and put to a vote in 2017 or beyond.

 

 

 

 

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Lawmakers Question Big Ag Mergers

Some lawmakers and farm groups are concerned about a long-range threat to U.S. agriculture —- as China—among the world’s top buyers of ag commodities — buys up more of the technology that has helped make the U.S. the largest producer of corn, soybeans, beef and chicken meat — around the globe.

Syngenta and ChemChina

Syngenta_Field_Logo

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Trade Proponents Say Now Is The Time To Push For Trans-Pacific Agreement

PNWFarm groups refuse to throw in the towel on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, despite a continued spate of negative headlines on the huge trade deal’s chances to be considered in a lame-duck Congress.  The only good news for TPP is President Obama’s announcement last week that he will push for its passage this year.

Then came House Speaker Paul Ryan’s comment that he sees no point in bringing up the Trans-Pacific Partnership since it lacks the votes to pass.

So where is the deal?  Former Trade Chair and long time ag senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa when asked this week about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s bringing up the pact…

Grassley TPP

That’s assuming Clinton is elected.

When asked for comment, a spokesperson for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association dismissed the naysayers. That followed a July comment by NCBA official Kent Bacus…

Baucus TPP

American Farm Bureau trade adviser Dave Salmonsen agrees, saying agriculture cannot throw in the towel:

Salmonsen TPP

As for Speaker Ryan’s rhetorical question, ‘what’s the point?,’  Salmonsen and Bacus argue the point is, there’s no point in waiting —not after the harsh anti-trade campaign rhetoric of both Clinton and Trump.

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