Report Touts TPP Trade Pact, But Projects Lower Grain Exports

May 23, 2016 05:00 PM
 
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A recent report aimed at passing the sweeping 12-country Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, or TPP, touts the trade pact’s gains for agriculture and other U.S. industries.

But while dairy and beef producers would be winners, other ag exports, including corn and wheat, would suffer losses, according to the report by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Why?

Because along with increased exports for U.S. industries by 2032, the report also forecasts more imports coming into the U.S. from the pact’s other 11 countries.

They include Australia, Brunei Dar Salaam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

“Among broad sectors of the U.S. economy, agriculture and food would see the greatest percentage gain relative to the baseline projections; output would be $10 billion, or 0.5%, higher,” the report said.

That is mainly because the pact would give American farmers new export market access to Japan and Vietnam, it said.

“The ITC report confirms what we already know: the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a win for U.S. agriculture,” said Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association, who said any drop in corn exports would be offset by feed demand from the livestock industry. “At a time when the farm economy is struggling, TPP would be a big step in the right direction for America’s farmers and ranchers.”

The U.S. already has trade pacts with 6 of the countries, according to the report.

The report said agricultural exports overall would go up 2.6% to $7.2 billion while imports to the U.S. would increase 1.5% to $2.7 billion during the next 16 years.

Here are some key projections for ag products through 2032, according to the report.

  • Corn: Loss of $31.3 million in exports, gain of $2.5 million in imports.
  • Wheat: Loss of $1.5 million in exports, gain of $18.2 million in imports.
  • Rice: Loss of $12.5 million in exports, gain of $15.3 million in imports.
  • Dairy: Gain of $1.8 billion in exports, gain of $348.6 million in imports.
  • Beef: Gain of $876 million in exports, gain of $419 million in imports.
  • Pork: Gain of $219 million in exports, gain of $94.4 million in imports.
  • Poultry: Gain of $174 million in exports, loss of $16.6 million in imports.

The trade deal has been a contentious issue in the U.S. presidential campaign and the report is seen by some as an effort to secure its passage by the Obama administration. Many farm groups support the proposal.

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