The Trans Pacific Partnership agreement reached by the trade ministers of 12 countries, including the United States, in Atlanta today (Oct. 5) will allow the U.S. continue to play a leading role in writing the rules for the global economy.
Although details of the TPP agreement remain sketchy – a full text must be made available to the public 60 days before it is submitted to Congress – President Obama and other administration officials said U.S. trade interests and workers will be enhanced.
“When more than 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders, we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy,” the president said. ”We should write those rules, opening new markets to American products while setting high standards for protecting workers and preserving our environment.”
Commodity groups and farm organizations were expressing guarded optimism about the outcome of the long-running negotiations for TPP while reserving the right to criticize it later. Trade groups and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders slammed it.
“USA Rice has been engaged with U.S. negotiators for several years to ensure that rice market access is improved as part of any final TPP deal, and we appreciate the substantial effort and work put in by U.S. negotiators,” a statement released by the USA Rice Federation said.
"USA Rice will review the documents in detail when available and will, in consultation with our leadership, decide whether the market access gains are significant enough for to support passage in Congress,” said Dow Brantley, USA Rice chairman.
"USA Rice officials said access to the rice market in Japan had been one of the last and most troublesome sticking points in the negotiations. “Rice is nearly always a sensitive commodity in trade negotiations, and the TPP was no exception,” said Brantley. "USA Rice thanks members of Congress and their leaders for their strong support and advocacy for a beneficial agreement.”
In his statement, President Obama said his approach to trade “has been guided by a unifying principle: leveling the playing field for American workers and businesses, so we can export more products stamped Made in America all over the world that support higher-paying American jobs here at home.”
The 12 TPP partners are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. Together those countries represent nearly 40 percent of global GDP.
“The TPP will spur economic growth and prosperity, enhance competitiveness and bring jobs to American shores,” said Secretary of State John Kerry. “It will provide new and meaningful access for American companies, large and small. And by setting high standards on labor, the environment, intellectual property, and a free and open Internet, this agreement will level the playing field for American businesses and workers.
“The TPP will provide a near-term boost to the U.S. economy, and it will shape our economic and strategic relationships in the Asia-Pacific region long into the future,” he said.
Administration officials said the agreement will eliminate more than 18,000 taxes in the form of tariffs that various countries put on Made in America products, making sure U.S. farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and small businesses “can compete – and win – in some of the fastest growing markets in the world.”
To read more about the agreement, visit https://ustr.gov/.