Following the announcement Thursday of White House actions to improve trade access for ag producers and businesses in rural areas, USDA shared information on the estimated impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal for all 50 states.
TPP is a 12-country Asia-Pacific trade agreement currently in negotiations. The Obama Administration and many ag groups have advocated in support of the TPP, which USDA estimates will spur job growth, increase farm income, generate rural economic activity and expand ag exports.
The executive actions on rural trade underscored the White House's "Made in Rural America" initiative launched in February 2014 and co-led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
According to the USDA, fiscal years 2009-14 are the strongest six years in history for U.S. ag trade; U.S. ag product exports totaled $771.7 billion.
Agricultural exports last fiscal year reached $152.5 billion, the highest level on record. U.S. agricultural exports now support more than one million jobs in the U.S., USDA said.
USDA expects soy and soybean product exports under the TPP to expand, as tariffs across the TPP region will be cut and new markets will be opened. In 2014 the United States exported $5.5 billion of soy and soy products to the TPP region.
New market access opportunities will also be opened to U.S. poultry and beef producers and exporters under a TPP deal, USDA said. In 2014, the United States exported about $7 billion in poultry and beef to the TPP region.
Vilsack pressed for TPP and authorization of the Trade Promotion Authority, a measure that would allow only an up or down vote for Congress on the trade deal. Eight former U.S. ag secretaries joined Vilsack in this call on Friday, suggesting that TPA will pave the way for improved TPP talks by guaranteeing that an agreed-upon deal will not be altered by Congressional amendments.
Vilsack also spoke on the issue during the 2015 Commodity Classic on Feb. 27, noting that U.S. involvement – and farmer advocacy – on trade is necessary to negotiate an agreement that represents science-based standards.
Visit USDA's 50-state TPP resource.