Nov. 11, 2015 - Sugar growers had a lot to lose in the Trans-Pacific
Partnership, but they say they’re pleased
with the outcome. “We have
carefully examined the final language and details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and are pleased to confirm that America’s trade negotiators delivered on
their pledge to not undermine U.S. sugar policy,” the American
Sugar Alliance said in a statement late Tuesday.
the negotiations to demand increased access to the U.S. sugar market. In side letters to the TPP, the
two countries agreed to consult on that possibility, but the discussions won’t
occur until nine years after the agreement takes effect at the earliest.
President Obama’s most critical allies on Capitol Hill, Senate Finance
Chairman Orrin Hatch, isn’t as happy
with the TPP. In a Nov. 6 address to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Hatch went
so far as to say the agreement needs to be renegotiated to address concerns
about its impact on the pharmaceutical industry and the expensive type of
cutting-edge drugs known as biologics.
Hatch tells Agri-Pulse that there are also concerns about the TPP’s impact on the tobacco industry
and dairy, but it’s clear what he is worried about is pharmaceuticals. “I don’t want to lose the biologics
industry,” he said. The deal guarantees companies only five to
eight years of market protection for new drugs, while U.S. law provides 12.
Hatch said Tuesday that he doesn’t think the issue could be
adequately introduced in side letters with other TPP countries. “My initial impression, and I’m still studying it …. is that they need to
Bill Reinsch, president of the
National Foreign Trade Council, said it would be difficult to do what Hatch
wants without requiring other TPP countries to change their laws. “Sadly, I think it's a serious issue at this point, but
sometimes views evolve as the debate goes on,” he said.
Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat
Roberts, who is also a member of the Finance Committee, tells Agri-Pulse that the prospect of the TPP being renegotiated “is remote
to say the least.”
Several farm groups have endorsed
the agreement since the White House released the text last Thursday, and
leaders of groups representing soybeans, corn, wheat, beef and pork, along with
the U.S. Grains Council and Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Phil
Karsting, scheduled a news conference to promote TPP on Wednesday in Kansas
City in connection with the National Association of Farm Broadcasters
The United Fresh Produce Association is among other groups supporting
the deal, saying it “has great
potential to open markets, level the playing field and help close the ongoing
trade deficit faced by the fresh produce sector.”
For more news, go to: www.Agri-Pulse.com