Posted on November 4, 2016 at 7:39 AM by Natalie Te Grootenhuis
Despite the political rhetoric on trade this election season, the truth remains that America’s businesses need a level playing field when it comes to trade. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will do just that, opening markets for small and mid-sized businesses including farmers while stimulating our economy. On behalf of Iowa’s corn farmers, we are calling on our leaders in Washington to ratify the TPP.
The TPP is a trade agreement between the United States and 11 Asia-Pacific countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The Asia-Pacific region represents more than 40 percent of global trade and is an opportunity to advance the U.S. economy, increasing U.S. market access and setting high-standard rules for trade in the region.
As Iowa Corn, we know just how important it is to find new markets for the corn and livestock grown in Iowa. 31 percent of the farm income is attained directly from exports, reflected in the fact that one out of every three acres in the United States is planted for crops that will be shipped out of the country in some form.
Iowa Corn partners with two major organization when it comes to trade. The first being the U.S. Grains Council (USGC). The USGC promotes grain around the clock to more than 50 countries with their 10 international headquarters. Iowa Corn invests in the organization because we see the need to promote corn and corn by-products around the world which in return increases the farmers bottom line. USGC estimates that 100.1 million tons of US feed grains were exported in 2014/2015 which was about a 20 million ton increase from the previous year.
The second organization Iowa Corn partners with is the United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF). We help fund this effort to support a worldwide market development program. Exporting value added corn through livestock has been a priority for Iowa Corn for a very long time. USMEF estimates that 450 million bushels of corn are exported each year through pork and beef. That is an equivalent of adding $12.15 billion to the corn industry.
If America walks away from trade, it walks away from 1 million jobs created by agricultural exports – not to mention $133 billion in agricultural trade, a food and farm trade surplus of $43 billion, and the 30 percent it brings to the U.S. farm income.