Only one of the candidates that Hoosiers voted for in yesterday’s primary supports the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, even though the Hoosier State would benefit from it. According to an analysis by the Indiana corn and soybean organizations, only John Kasich is in favor of the TPP even though, according to President Obama, the deal is a good deal for US farmers, “What we are going to see is that American farmers and ranchers are going to be able to sell their products in ways that they have never been able to sell before.”
But, not all of agriculture supports the trade agreement that is now before Congress. Roger Johnson, with the National Farmers Union, said, “We are not against trade; we just want fair trade.” Johnson and a handful of smaller farm and labor organizations are opposed to the negotiated agreement and have sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers not to ratify one of the largest such agreements ever constructed.
The President claims that American farmers will benefit from TPP, “We are a massive beneficiary of this agreement; and, under this deal, we are definitely going to be better off than under current law.” Currently, most of the nations of the TPP have trade tariffs against U.S. agricultural products ranging from 16% to over 300%.
Johnson, however, is not a believer, “The U.S. has 23 trade agreements, and the benefits have not been what we were promised.” Yet, Indiana farmers have benefited from NAFTA and CAFTA, a large part of Indiana farm production goes into the world market, and export growth has occurred. Today, Mexico is a larger importer of U.S. corn than Japan.
The lack of support for trade by the majority of Presidential candidates has many farmers and farm leaders worried about the future of U.S. trade policy when it comes to agriculture.