The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was a major topic among the 50 farmers, ranchers and state agriculture association representatives who gathered in Washington, D.C. as part of the National Corn Growers Association Trade School a few weeks ago.
“Trade policy has a significant impact on me as a farmer. The success of my business and the livelihood of my community depend on expanding markets for U.S. agricultural products,” John Linder, a farmer from Edison, Ohio who serves as chairman of the NCGA Biotechnology and Trade Action Team, said. “With so many trade issues front and center right now, we wanted farmers to walk away with the knowledge and resources to become trade advocates, here in Washington and back home in their communities.”
In addition to talk about TPP, the attendees learned over two days about the importance of trade to the agriculture sector, the role of the World Trade Organization, how global dietary trends affect trade, and the ethanol export market.
As a result of all the knowledge gained during the trade school, many farmers and ranchers took the opportunity of being in Washington, D.C. to personally visit their representatives to urge them to pass TPP.
“The biggest thing I learned in trade school is, the world is not waiting for us. Our competitors have negotiated regional and bilateral trade agreements that put American farmers and ranchers at a disadvantage in the global marketplace,” Linder said. “The Trans-Pacific Partnership is our opportunity to level the playing field, and protect and expand our market share. The clock is ticking for American agriculture. It’s time for Congress to act.”