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American Farm Bureau reviews TPP

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of State

By Ken Root

They say the devil is in the details…well he showed up this week when the Text of the Transpacific Partnership was released in 30 chapters. So far, those for it remain so and those opposed..likewise. The president came out saying he’d sign it. But the decision lies with Congress in an election year.

The American Farm Bureau is still reviewing just released details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership before taking a formal position, but says once it and other weigh in the deal could move quickly in Congress.

Farm Bureau trade advisor Dave Salmonsen says TPP timing will depend on congressional leaders who are now poring over the details.

“If the leadership is for it. Wants to get it done then you can move those trade promotion authority time frames.  You can move some of them up even more quickly.  Those are kind of maximum time frames,” Salmonsen said.

That’s after the President gives Congress 90-days to review TPP after releasing it publicly Thursday. Then, it’s a race against the ‘political winds’ of an election year…

“I think a political window which would fit in with the time frame would be into next April or May.  That would follow the time frame from the Trade Promotion Bill and be politically past a lot of presidential primaries and of course the primaries the House and Senate members are going through,” Salmonsen said.

Others suggest a window after the November elections in a lame duck Congress. Meanwhile, America’s trading partners are watching…

Salmonsen said Farm Bureau is now crunching the numbers before its board decides on a TPP position, expected sometime in early to mid-December. Regardless, he says the TPP trade deal will expand access for many U.S. farm goods into Japan, Vietnam, Canada and others—boosting farm prices and profits.

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