November 6, 2015

Western Growers Issues Statement Following Release of Trade Agreement Language

Today, President and CEO of Western Growers issued a statement following the release of text of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement. A deal between the United States and the 11 other Pacific Rim countries participating in the negotiations was reached on October 5, 2015. TPP is critical for the U.S. fresh produce industry as the TPP countries represent more than 46 percent of our fruit, vegetable and tree nut exports. The actual text of the agreement was released to the public for the first time earlier today.

Nassif’s statement reads as follows:

“I applaud U.S. negotiators for crafting a deal that benefits the fresh produce industry. This agreement, most importantly, strengthens the consistent and scientifically based enforcement of Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures among TPP partners. The effectiveness of new mechanisms TPP provides for producer recourse when unfair SPS measures are imposed will be the greatest indication of TPP’s long term success for the fresh produce industry.

Additionally, the increased market access this agreement provides into significant markets such as Japan, and the new agreements it creates with emerging export markets like Malaysia, New Zealand, and Vietnam, is a good opportunity for U.S. producers. The United States faces a trade deficit in the produce sector. Without expanded export opportunities, the balance of trade will only get worse.

Farming is a risky business, one dependent upon Mother Nature and worsened this year by the parched earth throughout the western United States. Exporting products to eager foreign markets allow farmers to soften those risks. In the years farmers produce a large crop, they sell first in the United States and the rest to buyers in other countries. In some years, the export market may be the only hedge between profit and loss.”

For more information contact Ken Barbic in our Washington, D.C. office at (202) 296-0191.