Trade Rep Office Signals TPP Progress

Office of U.S. Trade Representative details ag's stake in TPP

Published on: Dec 11, 2013

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Tuesday released new figures on the global income benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including data on agricultural exports.

Calling the TPP "the most significant trade negotiation in a generation, and promises significant economic benefits for American businesses, workers, farmers, ranchers, and service providers," a USTR fact sheet revealed that an agreement could provide global income benefits of about $223 billion per year by 2025.

The U.S. has had a role in the TPP since 2009, and has participated in a series of negotiations on the deal, the most recent taking place just this month in Singapore. A deal with the participating countries could garner deeper participation and trade opportunities with the Asia-Pacific market, USTR says.

TPP negotiators line up for a photo during the recent meeting in Singapore. (USTR photo)
TPP negotiators line up for a photo during the recent meeting in Singapore. (USTR photo)

Delegates for each of the countries included in the TPP – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam – said Tuesday after the Singapore meeting that they have made "substantial progress" toward completing the agreement.

That substantial progress could be beneficial to the U.S. ag sector, given that the 12 economies participating in the TPP account for 793 million consumers and a combined gross domestic product of $28.1 trillion. That's 39% of world GDP, according to Peterson Institute data released by the USTR also on Tuesday.

The agreement could generate an estimated $305 billion in additional world exports per year by 2025, including an additional $123.5 billion in U.S. exports – good news for the U.S. ag sector, which just last year generated $59.2 billion, up 36 % from 2009, in trade with TPP countries.

The USTR fact sheet also listed export benefits for corn ($5.7 billion); pork and pork products ($4.3 billion); soybeans ($3.6 billion); beef and beef products ($3.3 billion); and fresh fruit ($3.1 billion).

Some ag groups – including the American Farm Bureau, National Pork Producers and American Soybean Association – have supported the deal, noting earlier this fall that the TPP negotiations have potential to serve as a standard for future trade agreements.

The groups, however, specified that the agreement must address sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues and ensure tariffs are enforceable. In addition, they suggested, all measures must be agreed to as one complete package.