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Animal ag groups welcome positive TPP report

Beef, pork and dairy groups say latest economic report offers further evidence of improved economic opportunities for their sectors.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) released its report on the likely impact to specific industry sectors and the U.S. economy from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

According to the report, the TPP agreement would increase annual U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $42.7 billion and expand U.S. employment by close to 128,000 full-time equivalents (FTEs) by 2032, when the agreement is fully implemented. Moreover, the report estimates that 10 years after full implementation, those benefits will continue to grow, expanding U.S. GDP by $67 billion and employment by 174,000 FTEs.

ITC stated that the TPP agreement would increase U.S. exports and provide significant benefits for the U.S. agriculture sector, primarily through new market access in Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Brunei — countries where the U.S. does not currently have free trade agreements. Under TPP, the ITC model estimates that by 2032, U.S. agricultural exports would be $7.2 billion more than the baseline (representing no TPP agreement), while U.S. agricultural imports would be $2.7 billion higher than the baseline estimate.

If TPP is adopted, total U.S. agricultural output would rise $10.0 billion (0.5%) by 2032 relative to the baseline; this would be associated with 0.5% higher U.S. agricultural employment.

In 2015, 10% of U.S. beef production, 20% of pork production and 16% of poultry production was exported to foreign markets, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

While TPP will augment the competitiveness of U.S. meat and poultry exports across all countries represented in the agreement, meat and poultry exports to high-tariff, high-demand markets like Japan and Vietnam will benefit significantly, according to the North American Meat Institute.

For beef specifically, the ITC report estimates that overall beef exports would be about $876 million higher once TPP is fully implemented and that it would have a moderate impact on U.S. beef imports.

“Cattle producers rely on foreign markets and international trade to grow demand for high-quality U.S. beef,” National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn. president Tracy Brunner said. “These markets add value to every head of cattle raised and fed in the United States. In order to compete with other global beef-producing nations, we need the level playing field provided through TPP. U.S. producers have already lost more than $140 million in sales into Japan alone since 2015 due to their preferential trade agreement with Australia.”

Overall, TPP is expected to lead to an increase in U.S. pork exports, with little to no increase in U.S. imports. Most of the increase in exports would likely be to Japan as Japan’s concessions to its gate price system are phased in. Exports to New Zealand would also be expected to increase as U.S. producers achieve market access parity with producers in Australia and gain a tariff advantage over producers in the European Union.

“The ITC report confirms what we’ve known about the benefits of an agreement that eliminates tariff and non-tariff barriers to our products,” National Pork Producers Council president John Weber said. “Not only will the TPP level the playing field for U.S. exports and, in fact, expand them, but it has the potential to become even bigger. For all intents and purposes, the agreement has become the global vehicle for free trade.”

On balance, U.S. dairy exporters would likely benefit from the TPP agreement, even after accounting for additional market access granted to foreign competitors in the U.S. market. If TPP is implemented, the ITC model estimates that U.S. dairy exports to TPP member countries would increase $2.0 billion relative to the baseline. Nearly all of the increase would be exported to Canada ($1.2 billion) and Japan ($534 million). The product mix of U.S. exports to Canada would likely include milk, cream, butter, butter oil, whey products, yogurt, cheese, cheese ingredients and infant formula. The product mix of U.S. dairy exports to Japan would primarily be whey products, lactose and cheese.

The National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council said their economic analysis concluded that, overall, the TPP dairy market access provisions will be neutral to slightly positive. “Included in the deal are groundbreaking new commitments on sanitary and phytosanitary issues and significant improvements in how geographical indications are handled,” the dairy groups said a joint statement. They added that, for results to be realized, signatories must live up to their commitments under the agreement.

The TPP agreement would likely result in a moderate increase in U.S. poultry meat exports and a small decrease in U.S. poultry meat imports. Elimination of duties on poultry meat imports in Japan should increase U.S. competitiveness in this large market. U.S. poultry meat producers’ output would be $266 million, or 0.6% greater than the 2032 baseline projection.

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