The deal was five years in the making and must now be ratified by a divided Congress on the cusp of a presidential election year. If passed, the TPP agreement will be the largest of its kind since the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1994. Countries involved in the agreement are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the U.S.

Cooper david
Managing Editor / Progressive Cattle

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says the deal provides American goods greater access to Pacific markets by eliminating or reducing tariffs or other sanitary barriers that hurt American producers.

“Despite these past barriers, countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership currently account for up to 42 percent of all U.S. agricultural exports, totaling $63 billion,” Vilsack says. “Thanks to this agreement and its removal of unfair trade barriers, American agricultural exports to the region will expand even further, particularly exports of meat, poultry, dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains, oilseeds, cotton and processed products.”

Beef exports played a prominent part in the negotiations, and the announced deal earned the praise of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) as “a true 21st century agreement.”

“The TPP will immediately reduce tariffs and level the playing field for U.S. beef exports to these growing markets,” says NCBA President Philip Ellis. “TPP is a major win not only for the beef industry, but for all U.S. export products, growing the economy while supporting jobs and investments in agriculture and technology.”


The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) also endorsed the deal as a measure that “opens doors to new markets globally.”

“Trade agreements, which eliminate trade barriers overseas, play a critical role in the future growth of the U.S. animal agriculture industry, which depends on international consumers, particularly the growing population and middle class,” says AFIA CEO Joel G. Newman. “TPP has the ability to ensure and create U.S. jobs, along with economically stronger rural communities.”

Labor groups and the automobile industry came out against the TPP Monday, and will be among those leading opposition to it as it heads to Congress – probably not for a few months. Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both opposed the deal before it was announced, and Hillary Clinton has been lukewarm to it. This summer, Congress passed by a close margin legislation helping the president move trade agreements through quickly.

"Failing to grasp this opportunity would be a mistake: Worse than just losing out on potential gains, our producers would fall behind other countries that are negotiating their own preferential arrangements in TPP countries,” Vilsack said in his statement. “We are committed to working with Congress within the framework of the recently-passed Trade Promotion Authority to obtain a strong bipartisan understanding of and support for this historic trade deal that benefits farmers, ranchers and all those who live, work and raise families in rural communities."  end mark