USDA Official Talks TPP in California
By Brian German, Associate Editor
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse held a roundtable at the California Farm Bureau Office in Sacramento with California ag leaders in December to discuss the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. “The reason we came out here now is the Trans-Pacific Partnership is finalized and the text has been released. We wanted to meet with the representatives of the different commodity groups to get their take on the agreement,” said Scuse. “It was a very good, interesting meeting,” he noted.
While not all industries are behind the TPP, Scuse said, “Agriculture, as a whole, is very supportive of the TPP. There were a couple of concerns about sanitary and phytosanitary issues and about how other countries may address those going forward. California ag leaders asked us to put together a fact sheet on these phytosanitary issues, labor, and other topics, so they have some talking points to converse with their constituents as well as their representatives in Congress.”
To make this trade agreement law, Scuse explained, “We are hoping Congress will take this up as soon as they possibly can. Every day we delay getting approval on TPP from Congress puts our producers at a disadvantage. The sooner we get this approved, the better it will be for all our farmers and ranchers across the United States,” he noted.
For California, the leading agricultural state, shipping more than $23 billion worth of food and agricultural products in 2014, time is expensive.
USDA Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services helps to keep America’s farmers and ranchers in business as they face the uncertainties of weather and markets. They deliver commodity, credit, conservation, disaster, and emergency assistance programs that help improve the stability and strength of the agricultural economy.
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, “Economy, Water, Trade and Labor were Big Topics at 32nd Agribusiness Conference.”
California Farm Bureau Federation