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May 22, 2014

Scientific Standards Only Way to Resolve Trade Issues

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

An American Farm Bureau Federation leader told Congress today about the importance of increased market access for agriculture. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbyInternational trade is incredibly important to agriculture and the U.S. economy, says Don Shawcroft, president of the Colorado Farm Bureau. Shawcroft testified before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade today and said there are three T’s for trade currently being debated that need to be priorities. Those are the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trade Promotion Authority.
ShawcroftCongress needs to move quickly as they can in order to avoid the instances that have occurred in the past when other countries have had trade agreements and have beaten us to the punch and made it more difficult for us to expand our trade.
OtterbyShawcroft says there are many trade-related issues of concern to agriculture, including barriers against conventionally raised U.S. beef, restrictions against U.S. poultry and pork and limitations on farm goods produced with biotechnology. He says science is the only fair means to develop a solution for these trade issues.
ShawcroftEven though there may be differences about the science and what processes are used in order to come up with those scientific determinations, once you understand the formula, hopefully everyone can understand it and be able to use the same inputs in order to come out with the same outcome.
OtterbyFor an extensive period of time, Shawcroft says U.S. potatoes were not allowed into Mexico, but this trade issue has been resolved through negotiations.
ShawcroftNow they are in the process of moving forward with a plan to allow potatoes to be exported beyond a 100,000-resident rule. We’re hopeful that will come to fruition, and it’s estimated that the revenue from potatoes could be as high as 80 million dollars, which could be a four-fold increase from the current situation.
OtterbySeanica Otterby, Washington.

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