The American Soybean Association (ASA) welcomed the commitment tonight from President Barack Obama to trade and its promise for the American economy. Specifically, ASA looks forward to continuing its cooperation with the administration to advance the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as further normalization of trade relations with Cuba. ASA President Richard Wilkins, a farmer from Greenwood, Del., issued the following statement after the State of the Union address on Tuesday night:
“The commitment of this administration to trade is something that we have appreciated at every turn, and the President’s final State of the Union address this evening shows that course will continue throughout the year.
“We understand that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is going to be a heavy lift this year, but we are excited to continue our press to see it passed by our Congress and ratified. The promise of the TPP for soybean farmers is too great to accept anything less, and we are very encouraged to hear the president continue his focus on the TPP in the year to come.
“Soy benefits from the TPP in three ways: first, through in increase in the direct export of soybeans and soy products to the 11 TPP nations, which already account for $5.4 billion in annual soy exports. Second and perhaps more importantly, the TPP will significantly expand meat exports to the region, which drives demand for soy meal as livestock feed here in the U.S. . Finally, the TPP will foster long-term demand through the further development of the emerging economies within the region.
“Another positive signal from the administration is its continued commitment to expanding our relationship with Cuba. ASA supports the development of further trade ties in Cuba because of the proximity and promise of that economy, and we appreciate and welcome the president’s persistence on the issue.
“Moving forward, we will only escalate our commitment to working with the administration and Congress to expand our trading relationships in all corners of the world.”