Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Former agriculture secretaries urge Congress to pass TPP

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WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of former U.S. agriculture secretaries has issued an open letter urging Congress to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The former secretaries note that opening new markets for exports is critical for farmers and rural communities. Agricultural exports provide 20 percent of farm income and support more than 1 million jobs, many of them in rural communities.

The secretaries pointed out that TPP is a new trade deal that will create new opportunities for American-grown and American-made products in the dynamic Asia-Pacific region.

“TPP is a 21st-century agreement that sets enforceable “rules of the road” for trade throughout the region, and with countries currently representing over 40 percent of the global economy. But it is also meant to be an open platform for other countries to potentially join, over time, if they are willing to meet the high standards set forth in the agreement, and if we and the other TPP members — and our own Congress — confirm they can meet that bar. That means potential future agricultural export opportunities could open up within the region,” the letter stated.

The secretaries signing the letter were Ed Schafer (2008-2009), Mike Johanns (2005-2007), Ann Veneman (2001-2005), Dan Glickman (1995-2001), Mike Espy (1993-1994), Clayton K. Yeutter (1989-1991) and John R. Block (1981-1986).

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