FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2015
Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
WASHINGTON (November 5, 2015) – The following statement was issued after the release of the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The statement should be attributed to National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson:
“After years of negotiating in secret for an enormous agreement guarded from the public under lock and key, the text of the TPP has at last been made public. Unfortunately, it appears to be as bad for America’s family farmers and ranchers as we had feared.
“This agreement has been peddled to farmers and ranchers as a potential goldmine for farm exports. But as with other trade deals, these benefits are likely to be overshadowed by increased competition from abroad, paired with an uneven playing field that will not only reduce revenues for farmers and ranchers but will also speed the loss of U.S. jobs.
“This agreement looks to be particularly bad for the nation’s ranchers. The beef export opportunities are very modest. Japan included a snapback provision that will allow them to fully reinstate the current high levels of tariffs if it deems that beef imports are hurting its domestic farmers. Japan’s protection, coupled with the very generous access the U.S. gave the rest of the world, will likely push down domestic prices.
“While NFU will continue to analyze the text of the agreement, we already know TPP includes no enforceable language to address currency manipulation, an effective maneuver used by our competitors to immediately tilt the playing field in their favor, even after signing an agreement of this scope and magnitude, having the potential to completely wipe out any gains.
“Several of the countries that are eager to ratify this agreement have recently manipulated their currencies and nothing is stopping them from doing this again. Additionally, the agreement does not have the goal or the ability to reduce our debilitating trade deficit.
“If we enter this agreement, our trade deficit, already exceeding $500 billion per year, will continue to rise, not fall. This enormous deficit will continue to drag down our economy, export even more US jobs and dash the hopes for coming generations.
“Given that this deal has been granted Fast Track authority, there is no alternative other than to vote this down.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.