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American Agriculture Community Hails TPA Bill

April 20, 2015

The headlines say it all. “Trade Promotion Authority has agriculture support,” one industry magazine reported last week. “Farm organizations laud bipartisan bill to grant trade promotion authority to White House,” said another ag publication.

Pork, corn, dairy, wheatyou name itthe American agriculture industry is standing firmly behind a new bipartisan trade promotion authority bill introduced last week. And for good reason.

As the American Farm Bureau noted upon the bill’s introduction, “The United States has much to gain through congressional approval of TPA.” In a statement, the Bureau highlighted what’s at stake for the industry. “We will cede potential markets and economic leadership to our competitors if we cannot negotiate and ratify trade agreements through TPA,” said the Bureau’s president. That’s why so many groups are calling for swift passage of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act.

Just look at what some of them are saying.

The National Association of Wheat Growers says, “Passage of TPA would send a strong signal that Congress and the Administration are united in their commitment to opening markets for the benefit of farmers and rural communities and creating jobs throughout this country.”

The National Chicken Council noted, “Passage of TPA would help ensure foreign access for U.S. chicken, generate more farm income, jobs in rural districts, and improve the U.S. trade balance.”

The National Pork Producers Council said, “The U.S. pork industry, U.S. agriculture, indeed the entire U.S. economy needs TPA, and we need it soon.”

The American Feed Industry Association endorsed the bill, noting that “TPA is essential to ensuring the U.S. receives the best possible outcomes in trade agreements.”

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association also explained the need for TPA. “The U.S. market is one of the most open markets in the world. The only way for us to level the playing field is to negotiate increased market access and tariff elimination through free trade agreements.”

The National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council released a statement saying, “Because world trade has become a major driver of U.S. dairy farmer income, we need well-designed free trade agreements to keep expanding our exports.”

The Corn Refiners Association, the Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, the USA Rice Federation . . . the list goes on and on.

The issue is simple. We need to sell more American-grown and -raised products overseas. That’s good for American farmers and ranchers, and it’s good for the American economy. And it’s one more reason we need to pass TPA now.