November 5, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: Western Growers Supports Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement; Nassif applauds deal as beneficial for U.S. fresh produce growers

IRVINE, Calif. (November 5, 2015) — Today, negotiators released the entire text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. The agreement, once implemented, addresses two issues of particular concern to the fresh produce industry.
In response to the text release, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement:
“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.”

About Western Growers:
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California and Colorado. Our members and their workers provide half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including nearly half of America’s fresh organic produce. For generations we have provided variety and healthy choices to consumers.