Yesterday, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) released its report on the economic benefit of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the U.S. economy. Maryland farmer Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association, said this report underscores the importance of TPP for America’s farmers and ranchers and called on Congress to pass the agreement this year.
“The ITC report confirms what we already know: the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a win for U.S. agriculture. At a time when the farm economy is struggling, TPP would be a big step in the right direction for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said Bowling.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a landmark global trade deal whose 12 nations represent about 40 percent of the world’s economy. The agreement must be passed by Congress.
According to the ITC report, TPP would increase agricultural exports by $7.2 billion. U.S. beef exports are expected to increase by $876 million, pork by $219 million, and poultry by $174 million, for a total meat export gain of almost $1.3 billion. Although corn exports would decline slightly, the dip would be more than offset by increased domestic demand for corn as a feed source for the livestock industry.
“NCGA is committed to helping the livestock industry grow demand for U.S. meat and dairy, here and around the world – which in turn increases demand for U.S. corn,” said Bowling.
The ITC projects that agricultural output and employment would both rise under TPP. According to a separate analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation, TPP would raise farm incomes by $4.4 billion.
The ITC report also highlights the importance of TPP’s provisions on biotechnology and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures to help address non-tariff trade barriers faced by the U.S. corn industry. Bowling hopes Congress will move quickly to pass the agreement.
“The National Corn Growers Association has been pushing for TPP on the Hill because it is important for the entire U.S. farm economy. We urge Congress to vote in favor of TPP as soon as possible.” US Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack echoed those sentiments in renewing his call for Congress to approve the TPP, saying the report “echoes what every major reputable study on TPP has now found,” that being strong benefits for the U.S. agriculture sector.