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Report Confirms Trade Deal With Asia Good for US Pork Producers

23 May 2016, at 12:00am

US - A government report on the impact to the US economy of an Asia-Pacific free trade deal confirms what the National Pork Producers Council and other agricultural and business groups have known: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement will be good for US agriculture, US businesses and the US economy.

The TPP, negotiations on which were initiated in late 2008 and concluded last October, is a regional trade deal that includes the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, which account for nearly 40 per cent of global GDP. The countries combined have more than 800 million consumers.

“The TPP will benefit American consumers, workers, businesses, farmers and ranchers, and we’re confident it will provide enormous new market opportunities for high-quality US pork products,” said NPPC President John Weber, a pork producer from Dysart, Iowa. “America’s pork producers strongly support the TPP, and we urge Congress to quickly pass it.”

NPPC, which has been a leading voice in support of the TPP, believes the deal could be the “biggest commercial opportunity ever for US pork producers.”

Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes estimates the agreement will exponentially increase US pork exports to the Asia-Pacific region and help create more than 10,000 US jobs tied to those exports.

According to a report released last week by the US International Trade Commission (ITC), the TPP agreement is estimated to increase annual US GDP by nearly $43 billion and to create almost 128,000 US jobs by 2032, the year the agreement will be fully implemented; US agricultural exports would rise by about $7.2 billion a year.

The report estimates that 10 years after implementation, annual GDP would be $67 billion and 174,000 jobs will have been created.

“The ITC report confirms what we’ve known about the benefits of an agreement that eliminates tariff and non-tariff barriers to our products,” Weber said.

“Not only will the TPP level the playing field for US exports and, in fact, expand them, but it has the potential to become even bigger. For all intents and purposes, the agreement has become the global vehicle for free trade.”

A number of other countries in the region, including South Korea and the Philippines, already have indicated an interest in joining the TPP.

NPPC has expressed concern about a US delay in approving – or even a rejection of – the trade agreement, pointing out that other countries are negotiating free trade deals in the Asia-Pacific region, including the China-led, 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

“The US needs to act more quickly to get the TPP approved and implemented,” said Weber.

“If we delay, we fall behind. And we certainly cannot afford either economically or geopolitically to walk away from the fastest growing region in the world.”

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