The TPP PR machine is cranking out some raw numbers that show just how much American agriculture and, in particular, Indiana agriculture will benefit from the trade deal. The American Farm Bureau Federation commissioned a study to examine just what the benefit to US agriculture would be if the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is approved by Congress. “Ratifying TPP will boost annual net farm income in the United States by $4.4 billion, compared to not approving the pact,” according to AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “American agriculture is a growth industry, and, to continue that trend, we must expand our market opportunities.”
The study also showed the benefits to Indiana. “If we don’t move forward with TPP, we will fall behind,” said Indiana Farm Bureau national policy advisor Kyle Cline. “While TPP would only go into full effect if the U.S. ratifies the agreement, other countries will move forward with their bi-lateral or multi-lateral trade agreements regardless of whether or not we decide to ratify the agreement.”
According to the report, Indiana cash receipts will increase by 196 million and exports will grow by 96 million per year. In addition, over 700 new jobs will be created in the state. IFB president Randy Kron says Hoosier beef, pork, and soybean sectors will benefit from reductions in tariffs.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, during a press call with Duval, that TPP is good for all sectors of the US economy both manufacturing and agriculture, “The country that will benefit the most from TPP is the U.S. This deal will create more manufacturing jobs here in the U.S.”
Duval says the focus of the debate should not be on who gets more but on how this agreement benefits all of agriculture, “This agreement will put more money in the pockets of farmers and ranchers and that benefits all of agriculture.”
Vilsack said, if Congress waits a year to implement the deal, it will cost the U.S. economy over $96 billion in lost economic activity. “While our farmers and ranchers have a lot to gain with passage, the consequences of not approving the deal would be harmful,” Duvall said. “Every day we delay means lost markets as other TPP countries implement the deal’s advantages with each other. We are already arriving at the party late because, right now, expanded trade due to TPP is going on across the Pacific Rim – just without us.”