Market News & Headlines >> Praise, Criticism for TransPacific

Many U.S. farm groups applauded Monday morning’s announcement of an agreement in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP), while also promising to scrutinize the deal to make sure it is their best interests.  Meanwhile, the agreement has already come in for some criticism from U.S. lawmakers both sides of the aisle.

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch said on Monday the TPP agreement "appears to fall woefully short" of objectives laid out in a bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority in which Congress set objectives for trade talks.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called the deal “disastrous”, saying the pact would cost U.S. jobs and hurt consumers. In the Senate, I will do all that I can to defeat this agreement,” Sanders vowed. Sanders’ reaction is no surprise as he has repeatedly been critical of the TPP, as has Republic presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) said it was “pleased” a TPP agreement had been reached, but added that it would carefully study the full text of the agreement. “We are hopeful that this agreement continues the tradition of past free trade agreements, which have had a positive impact for America’s farmers and ranchers. In the coming weeks, we will carefully examine the agreement to determine whether it is in the best interests of America’s corn farmers,” the NCGA said in press release. The full 30-chapter text of the TPP agreement may not be available for about a month.

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) also praised the reaching of a TPP agreement, while saying it would reserve judgement on the merits of the deal.  “We commend U.S. Trade Representative Froman and Chief Agricultural Negotiator Vetter for their longstanding support and determination to reach an agreement. Now it is up to us to figure out exactly what we have and how we should work with Congress to improve international market opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers through the Trans-Pacific Partnership," AFBF President Bob Stallman said in a press release.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) expressed confidence the TPP agreement “will benefit all sectors of the U.S. economy and will provide enormous new market opportunities for high-quality American pork products”.

“NPPC played an active role throughout the five-plus years of negotiations, providing U.S. negotiators with key information on barriers we face in the 11 other TPP countries and offering guidance on outcomes that would ensure substantial new market access benefits for U.S. pork in those markets,” said NPPC President Dr. Ron Prestage in a press release.