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December 19, 2013

Busy December for Trade Negotiations

For more information on Newsline, contact: Cyndie Sirekis, Director, News Services, American Farm Bureau Federation, cyndies@fb.org.

While many have been focused on shopping and Christmas preparations this month, December has also been a busy month for trade negotiations. American Farm Bureau trade specialist Dave Salmonsen explains why that’s a big deal. AFBF’s Johnna Miller has the story.
MillerDecember has been a busy month for agricultural trade negotiations. What? You didn’t notice? Well, maybe you should have, because agricultural exports are a big deal for the U.S. economy. American Farm Bureau trade specialist Dave Salmonsen…
SalmonsenOur exports at over $140 billion a year, our imports at about $115 billion a year, are probably about 10 percent of all our trade, but it’s one of our number one positive trade things, meaning we have a surplus and we’re one of the only sectors that has that and it make helps make up some trade deficits that we have. So it’s a real bright spot in the U.S. economy.
MillerThere have been three different international trade negotiations taking place this December. All three are important to the U.S. economy and agriculture. A World Trade Organization ministerial covered issues that could help or hinder the movement of goods between countries. U.S. negotiators for the Trans-Pacific Partnership pushed for an agreement with Japan to lower tariffs and increase access for U.S. agricultural goods. U.S. and European Union negotiators are trying to reduce barriers to trade between the United States and the 27 E.U. nations.
SalmonsenIf you saw TPP finalized and if you saw this agreement with the European Union and the U.S. ultimately done, you would have a trading relationship with the U.S. in the center that would extend from the Sea of Japan to the Black Sea of developed nations getting together and making a better trading environment. I think that would be a powerful economic force in world trade.
MillerSalmonsen says smaller, regional trade deals may be the route to the ultimate goals of the World Trade Organization. More markets for U.S. agriculture means a boost to one of the healthier sectors of the U.S. economy.
SalmonsenThere are a lot of issues that have been barriers to our trade for a long time. We’re going to push hard to get some of these solved. Hopefully get them all solved.
MillerJohnna Miller, Washington.

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