June 14, 2016

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106

WASHINGTON (June 14, 2016) – The nearly 200,000 family farmer and rancher-led National Farmers Union (NFU) continued to advocate for fair and balanced trade in official testimony submitted for the record to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade. Today, the subcommittee held a hearing to discuss expanding U.S. agriculture trade and eliminating barriers to U.S. exports.

“Trade is very important to family farmers and ranchers, but market access does not equal market share. Modest increases in agriculture export opportunities that come from trade agreements can be severely overshadowed by the resulting massive increases of imports in agriculture and in other sectors,” NFU President Roger Johnson explained in his testimony.

While Washington officials have continued to promote the boon of agriculture exports as a selling point for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), NFU has questioned the merits of a trade agreement modeled after failed trade agreements of the past, Johnson explained.

“Vague promises of market access do not offset opening our border for even larger amounts of foreign-produced goods to enter our markets. In addition, TPP fails to address the mounting U.S. trade deficit and the practices of currency manipulation, which both have negatively impacted agriculture and rural communities,” he added.

As the trends that have characterized the past 20 years of failed trade agreements would likely continue under the TPP, NFU encourages lawmakers to rethink the trade agreement.

“The measure of the success of a trade agreement has to be its benefit to U.S. agriculture and specifically of its producers’ net income. We must do better because these deep trade deficits are crippling America,” Johnson concluded.

Johnson’s testimony can be read in full 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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