Pointing to a report issued Wednesday from the International Trade Commission showing the American agriculture industry as among the largest beneficiaries from a potential Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, the American Soybean Association (ASA) renewed its call for Congress to work toward passage of the 12-nation trade pact. According to the report, by 2032 exports to TPP nations would increase by $27.2 billion, and the agricultural economy in the U.S. would grow by $10 billion, the greatest gain of any American industry sector. For soybean farmers, the benefits of the TPP come in the form of increased soybean meal sales domestically to meet demand created by increased meat exports to TPP nations. “As we have said consistently, each sector within the American agricultural economy is very closely connected to the next, and nowhere is that more clear than in the case of soybeans and livestock. The TPP is a win for soybean farmers because it means more meat exports. When our partners in the pork, poultry, beef and dairy industries do well, we do well,” said ASA President Richard Wilkins, a soybean farmer from Greenwood, Delaware.
Specifically by market, the TPP would provide positive benefits for the U.S. food and agriculture sector, primarily through new export market access in Japan and Vietnam—two countries where the agricultural sectors are currently protected by high tariffs. “Soybeans continue to see great success in the Asian and Latin American marketplaces, and we look forward to TPP expanding and growing that success,” added Wilkins. “None of that can happen, however, if the agreement continues to lay dormant waiting for Congress to do its job. We understand that the political environment is difficult in an election year, but that’s the job lawmakers signed on to do. TPP deserves a debate and a vote so these benefits can be realized.”