USDA fact sheets show TPP benefits to all 50 states
By Daniel Enoch
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2015 - USDA today released a series of fact sheets designed to boost the ag community's support for the newly reached Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
The fact sheets depict how each state and individual commodities stand to benefit from increased agricultural trade with the 11 other TPP countries. USDA points out that trade with these countries accounted for 42 percent of U.S. agricultural exports in 2014, contributing $63 billion to the nation's economy.
"Increased demand for American agricultural products and expanded agricultural exports as a result of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement will support stronger commodity prices and increase farm income. Increased exports will support more good paying export-related jobs, further strengthening the rural economy," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
"All of this activity benefits rural communities and keeps American agriculture on the cutting edge of global commerce,” Vilsack said. “The TPP agreement will contribute to the future strength of American agriculture and helps to ensure that the historic agricultural trade gains achieved under President Obama since 2009 will continue."
Included with the fact sheets is an interactive map of the U.S. Click on an individual state and you'll find the state's top five agricultural exports, the number of jobs supported by farm goods going overseas, the value of ag exports, along with a list of “highlights” from the TPP.
Click on Missouri, for example, and you'll see that the “Show Me” state's major farm exports are soybeans, soybean meal, wheat, pork and feed and fodder, in that order. It shows the total annual value of ag exports at $4 billion, supporting more than 30,000 jobs.
In the release announcing the fact sheets, USDA also provided a “snapshot” “of how the TPP would boost exports of some U.S. food and agricultural products:
Beef and Veal -- Japan's beef tariff, currently as high as 50 percent, will be reduced to 9 percent. Japan will eliminate duties on 75 percent of tariff lines, including processed beef products. Vietnam will eliminate tariffs and Malaysia will lock tariffs in at zero percent.
Pork -- Japan will eliminate duties on nearly 80 percent of tariff lines, including processed pork. Remaining tariffs will be cut and the "Gate Price" system significantly altered. Nearly all Malaysian tariffs will be locked in at zero percent and Vietnam will eliminate tariffs.
Fruits -- Japan, Malaysia, and Vietnam will eliminate tariffs on all fresh and processed fruits, including citrus.
Vegetables -- Malaysia and Vietnam will immediately eliminate all tariffs, and Japan nearly all tariffs, on fresh and processed vegetables. All three countries will eliminate tariffs on potatoes and potato products.
Rice -- Japan, which excluded rice from its prior trade agreements, will establish a new, duty-free quota for U.S. rice. Malaysia and Vietnam will eliminate tariffs.
President Obama is counting on strong support from agricultural groups in the congressional debate over TPP. Yesterday, the president met with several ag and business leaders at USDA headquarters, seeking their backing.
Afterward, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman, who was seated next to the president at the meeting, promised his help in getting the deal through Congress.
“It's going to be up to us to make the case that this agreement is important to each of those individual (congressional) districts in terms of economic impact and the effect on agriculture to those districts,” Stallman said.
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