KANSAS CITY, Mo. (NAFB) — Earlier this week 225 Agricultural organizations appealed to U S House and Senate leaders to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. U.S. Senate Democrat Clair McCaskill of Missouri says there is a lot of misinformation in the public about the TPP.
“As we get into the details of it, I obviously want to make sure Missouri Agriculture interests are protected. That would be both in the dairy title, which there was some back and forth about whether or not our milk was going to be at a disadvantage particularly in terms of our exports to Mexico as apposed to Australia. There are some parochial concerns like that, that I want to make sure are addressed and obviously it’s very important that we are confident that this can be enforced in terms of our environmental standards, in terms of our working standards for employees of companies.”
Senator McCaskill says there is one important thing to remember and that is what she believes has farmers concerned. “If we take just a complete pass on TPP, we are saying to China it’s all yours. You get the entire pacific area of our globe for trade. It puts us in a huge disadvantage in terms of competing with China.”
McCaskill says she has remained open to the TPP because she understands what it means to American Agriculture. She suggests that some believe that if the U S closed its borders to trade we would somehow come out ahead. “We need foreign customers. The middle class is growing much more quickly in other parts of the world because they are now experiencing the grow we had in the fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties.”
She said the customer base is growing exponentially around the globe and if the U S begins to shut out foreign products – they will begin to shut out those from the United States. “That’s what is called a trade war and that’s what costs us jobs and that’s what really costs American agriculture.”
McCaskill said Congress needs to stop the political rhetoric around the TPP and get the facts. “Till everyone understands that if we retreat from fair trade its only going to hurt American companies and American workers in the American economy.”