WASHINGTON – The U.S. Trade Representative today signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and a national organization representing farmers and ranchers from coast to coast is calling on Congress to block the giant trade pact.
“TPP is modeled after the failed deals of the past, and it is destined to fail,” explained Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. “Those past deals worsened America’s trade deficit, did nothing to stop our foreign competitors from cheating the system, and failed to live up to a long list of promises.”
Once signed by the Administration, TPP will eventually be delivered to Congress for a debate and an up-or-down vote without amendments. Johnson and NFU members in all 50 states are urging Congress to take its time during the examination process and to ultimately reject the deal.
“The more people learn about TPP, the more they dislike it,” Johnson noted. “It’s soft on enforcement, it fails to reign in predatory trade practices abroad, and it does nothing to improve America’s trade balance.”
Johnson, who testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission last month, told government officials that TPP needs better mechanisms to hold trading partners accountable for promises made and should focus on improving the U.S. trade balance instead of simply reducing tariffs.
The U.S. trade deficit soared to $508 billion in 2014, up 6 percent from the previous year, despite trade deals with 20 countries, he testified. And this trade imbalance, he explained, is a major hurdle to economic and job growth.
“TPP is a bad deal for rural and urban America alike,” Johnson said immediately after the pact was signed. “We encourage all members of Congress to carefully read the text and ask the hard questions that have, thus far, gone unanswered. Once they do, we believe legislators will vote no and demand better negotiations in the future.”