NCGA remains committed to the development and maintenance of fair and open global trade practices and policies. With 95 percent of consumers living outside the United States, the future of American agriculture depends largely on the ability to sell to foreign markets. Agriculture exports, forecast at a record $149.5 billion in 2014, contribute significantly to the U.S. economy and support more than one million American jobs. To grow agricultural exports, the United States must continue to pursue market-opening opportunities that will improve the competitiveness of American farmers worldwide.
Trade Promotion Authority
Modernized Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation as provided in the bi-partisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 is vital because it would improve our nation’s ability to advance trade agreements that open markets for U.S. farmers.
Currently, the United States is pursuing an ambitious set of trade negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which renews the president’s authority to submit trade agreements to Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendments, is critical in finalizing agreements such as TPP because it assures our trading partners that a final deal won’t be altered by Congress.
In addition to providing a pathway for negotiated trade agreements to be voted on by Congress, this modernized legislation sets out important congressionally defined negotiating objectives that would ensure high-standard, marketing-opening outcomes for U.S. agricultural products.
Trans Pacific Partnership
NCGA supports the Trans Pacific Partnership and its goal of a high-standard 21st century trade agreement that covers every commercial sector and sub-sector of the U.S. economy. We oppose measures that are protectionist and which encourage our trading partners to take similar actions. NCGA supports the inclusion of Japan in the TPP negotiations, and continues to call for a comprehensive liberalized final package.
A strong focus on sanitary and phytosanitary issues and non-tariff measures that hamper U.S. agricultural exports to TPP countries must be addressed. We seek to eliminate barriers that are not based on science for trading agricultural products derived from biotechnology. In addition, the market access schedules of our existing FTAs in the region must be kept intact.
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
NCGA supports the goal of achieving a comprehensive trade agreement with the European Union. However, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership must address unjustifiable restrictions on production methods that negatively affect U.S. exports.
Recommended Action: We urge Congress to quickly pass H.R. 3830, the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014.