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Passage of TPA Critical to US Involvement in Trans-Pacific Partnership

5 June 2015, at 12:00am

CANADA and US - The chair of the National Pork Producers Trade Committee says acceptance of the Trade Promotion Authority will be key to ensuring the United States participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed 12 nation free trade agreement.

The Trade Promotion Authority is the vehicle which allows Congress to accept or reject a trade agreement in its entirety before it moves to the president for final approval.

National Pork Producers Council past president and trade committee chair, Dr. Howard Hill, suggests it's critical that the U.S. be part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and, without the Trade Promotion Authority, that will not happen.

Dr Howard Hill-National Pork Producers Council:

These 12 countries represent about 40 per cent of the gross national product and so it's huge.

If you look at the map of where we've had free trade agreements over the years it's just expanded.
If we don't get this we're going to be left behind. and so I think it's very important for Canada, US, Mexico. It's very very important that we get this free trade agreement in place because Asia is really where it's growing.

European is important. That's the Trans-Atlantic trade partnership but the TPP is mainly the Pacific Rim countries and those are the countries, those southeast Asian countries are the countries that are really growing.

Their economies are growing and that's where we need to be able to have a free trade agreement.
The other thing is we've got 12 countries involved in this right now but in the future there'll be other countries that want to join this.

There'll be a lot of countries, possibly even China for example, the Philippines might be interested in joining it in the future.

Hill warns these other countries will not be prepared to offer their best deal without assurances that the United States will be prepared to do the same and stick to it.

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