The White House issued comments from President Obama yesterday (6.10.15), following his meeting with agriculture and business leaders at USDA to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
US exports of agricultural products to TPP countries totalled USD 63 billion in 2014, 42 percent of total US agricultural exports. TPP will remove unfair trade barriers and help further the global expansion of American agricultural exports.
“Yesterday we announced a new trade agreement across the Asia Pacific region that reflects American values and gives our working families and American businesses a fair shot, creates a level playing field. The Trans-Pacific Partnership took five years to negotiate, and I wanted to get the best possible deal done for American workers and American businesses, and that is what we have achieved.
“This agreement makes us more competitive by eliminating about 18,000 taxes, tariffs that are placed on America’s products in these other countries.
“Under this agreement, all those foreign taxes will fall. Most of them will fall to zero. So we are knocking down barriers that are currently preventing American businesses from selling in these countries and are preventing American workers from benefitting from those sales to the fastest-growing, most dynamic region in the world.
“With this trade agreement, which spans nearly 40 percent of the global economy, we’re going to be able to sell more products, more services, American agriculture, American manufacturing -- we’re going to be able to get those to markets, and American companies that produce here in the United States are not going to be disadvantaged relative to these markets.
“This agreement has the strongest labor standards of any trade agreement in history, including setting fair hours, prohibiting child labor, prohibiting forced labor. It includes the highest environmental standards in history, and prevents overfishing, and makes sure that wildlife trafficking isn’t decimating wildlife that are a world treasure.
“And so unlike past agreements, these standards … are actually enforceable. If countries aren’t abiding by them, then they don’t get the benefits of selling to the United States under the terms of this agreement. And, under this agreement, we, rather than countries like China, are writing the rules for the global economy.
“So I’ve said repeatedly that I would only sign an agreement and present an agreement to Congress if I could be absolutely certain that it was good for American workers and good for American businesses, good for American farmers and good for American ranchers, and good for American manufacturers. We have met that standard in this agreement.”
The agreement will now be put to the vote and the President asked those present to help bring it ‘across the line’.