ByJohnathan Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
In one of his first major acts as president, Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday pulling the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a move that the agriculture industry says will cost them more than $4.4 billion in revenue each year.
ByDave Dickey/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
2015 was an important year for agricultural stories, from the slump in the U.S. farm economy because of plunging commodity prices to the outbreak of avian influenza and Congress repealing mandatory country-of-origin labeling on meat products.
ByDave Dickey/The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
In trade circles, it is simply known as the TPP — that’s Trans-Pacific Partnership. And it is the largest free trade deal in terms of gross domestic product that the United States has negotiated since the 1994 North America Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership promises to cut thousands of restrictive trade taxes on beef, corn and other U.S. agricultural products. But an analysis of U.S. Department of Agriculture and World Trade Organization data shows that TPP countries are already major customers when it comes to American agriculture.
One of the biggest challenges that today’s farmers face is the patchwork of different GMO regulations from country to country. Part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is focused on making biotechnology more transparent between the deal’s members.
The United States reached a major free trade agreement with 11 Pacific Rim countries at the beginning of October. Industry experts believe the deal, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, will open lucrative foreign markets to American agricultural products. Lobbying records suggest major agribusinesses are heavily interested in the deal.