February 23, 2016

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
[email protected]

WASHINGTON (February 23, 2016) – The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is having a hard time attracting much support on Capitol Hill, so the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) briefed reporters today about TPP’s benefits in hopes of reviving the fledgling trade deal. But one farm organization, representing 200,000 family farmers and ranchers, was quick to point out that USDA’s projections of job growth and rural prosperity closely mirror the failed promises of past trade pacts.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson offered the following statement following today’s USDA media call:

“The year-after-year growth of the U.S. trade deficit is an alarming trend for an already stressed agriculture economy. To broadly categorize agriculture as benefitting from this agreement is not giving due diligence to the serious concerns that are not addressed by TPP.

“While access to global markets is important for American agriculture, a trade agreement that does little to fix currency manipulation, reign in foreign predatory trade practices, or improve the $531 billion trade imbalance is not the solution.

 “In its current form, the TPP stands to hurt our rural economies by pitting American jobs against foreign labor that is paid mere pennies per hour. Beyond the farm gate, any consumer that cares about where their food comes from should be concerned with the TPP.

“This is an issue that affects all Americans alike. I continue to urge Congress to give thoughtful consideration to opposing the TPP.”

In January, Johnson testified to the U.S. International Trade Commission about TPP. His testimony can be read here.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.


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