NCBA Applauds Conclusion of Trans-Pacific Partnership NegotiationsMon, 05 Oct 2015 15:08:29 CDT
After several days of negotiations, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has learned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations successfully concluded on Monday. Trade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim nations, including the United States, met over the weekend in Atlanta. National Cattlemen's Beef Association Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Kent Bacus said this is a huge opportunity for U.S. beef producers.
"In order to get, you've got to give a little bit," Bacus said. "With the beef industry, we have very open access into the U.S. market and so, we want that equal access into other markets."
In reaching an agreement, this will provide a more level playing field in trade for American farmers. The agreement would eliminate or significantly reduce tariffs on agricultural products and deter non-science based sanitary and phytosanitary barriers. NCBA President and Chugwater, Wyo., cattleman, Philip Ellis said this agreement will boost U.S. exports and eliminate trade barriers.
"While the full details of the partnership will not be released until the President presents it to Congress, cattle producers are assured this is a true 21st century agreement," said Ellis. "The TPP will immediately reduce tariffs and level the playing field for U.S. beef exports to these growing markets. TPP is a major win not only for the beef industry, but for all U.S. export products, growing the economy while supporting jobs and investments in agriculture and technology."
Beef exports currently add over $350 to each head of cattle sold in the U.S. With the completion of this work, NCBA looks forward to increased demand and growth for beef exports across the Pacific Rim. Through the partnership process with these 11 other nations, beef producers were able to secure the best deal possible to address tariff and non-tariff trade barriers to beef exports, surpassing individual country arrangements. For example, U.S. beef has a 38.5 percent tariff in going into Japan. Meanwhile, the Australians have a tariff rate advantage, which is taking market share away from the U.S. Through the TPP, Bacus said this will help even things out.
"Only when you are able to be able to play with the same tariff lines and to actually get a better deal than what the Australians did, are you going to be able to take that market share back," Bacus said.
With concerns that the trade talks would be stalled, Bacus said they were worried that could jeopardize the future export success for U.S. beef producers. If talks were extended, he said that would push negotiations six weeks to three months from now, which would push negotiations even closer to a Presidential election cycle.
American agricultural exports to the region will expand even further, particularly exports of meat, poultry, dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains, oilseeds, cotton and processed products. The 12 TPP countries include the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The TPP currently represents 40 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP).
The TPP will have implications beyond the countries joined in the agreement. Bacus said there are going to be other countries that aren't included in the agreement that will begin moving forward on trade. He said this could include countries like Taiwan, Philippines, Korea, Indonesia, etc. While China is not part of the TPP negotiations, having these standards in place between these 12 countries will set a precedence across the Pacific Rim. Once China sees all this grow in the region, he thinks China will also want an agreement equally attractive. Bacus said this emphasizes the need to set to standards now, so the Chinese aren't dictating those terms later.
Overall, Bacus said throughout the negotiations Congress has been informed on progress and have been able to review terms of the negotiations. Further, the agricultural industry has had the opportunity to engage with the U.S. trade negotiators. He said we may not have gotten everything, but he feels the deal will be beneficial for years to come.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with NCBA's Kent Bacus. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to listen to the full interview.
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