With passage by the Senate of legislation granting the president authority to enter and finalise free trade agreements, the National Pork Producers Council called on US trade negotiators to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an Asia-Pacific regional trade deal. The TPP talks among the US and 11 Pacific Rim countries would generate 10,000 US jobs tied to pork exports.
This is according to Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes. The US pork industry would see exponential growth in exports to the TPP countries, and therefore more jobs in pork exports.
Senate lawmakers voted 60-38 to approve Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which defines objectives and priorities for trade agreements the United States negotiates and establishes consultation and notification requirements for the president to follow throughout the negotiation process. Once trade negotiators finalise a deal, Congress gets to review it and vote – without amendments – yes or no on it. Congress has granted TPA to every president since 1974, with the most recent law being approved in August 2002 and expiring June 30, 2007. The House approved TPA last Thursday by a 218-208 vote.
We applaud Congress for approving TPA, which is imperative for finalising free trade agreements that boost US exports and create US jobs,” said NPPC President Dr. Ron Prestage, a veterinarian and pork producer from Camden, S.C. “Now we need US trade negotiators to get the best deal possible from the other TPP countries and to finalise one of the most significant regional trade agreements ever.”
Since 1989 – the year the United States began using bilateral and regional trade agreements to open foreign markets – US pork exports have increased 1.550% in value and 1.268% in volume. The United States shipped more than $6.6 billion of pork to foreign destinations in 2014. The US pork industry ships more pork to the 20 nations with which the United States has Free Trade Agreements than to the rest of the world combined.