Yesterday morning I spent a few minutes on the phone with both U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Michael Froman and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack who wanted to chat about trade issues. Both were eager to tell me the benefits of these two programs on ag producers including those here in the northwest even though neither of the trade programs, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement have been completed. Froman said they are working on both.
FROMAN: With regard to TPP, we are very much in the endgame here. We just had a very good round in Singapore, our negotiators are working around the clock, we’ve made some good progress on market access including the agricultural sector and we still have some hard issues to work our way through including access to Japan’s agricultural market; access to Canada as well and we’re working hard to resolve those issues as well.
Froman points out that the Transatlantic Trade program is still a work in progress.
FROMAN: The TTIP negotiations with Europe began just last year and so we’re somewhat further behind but we’re making good progress and things are on track. We have had some very good discussions already with the Europeans including about agricultural market access, about science-based regulations - an issue we are going to want to address in these negotiations.
Ag Secretary Vilsack made the point that agriculture has been doing well here in the U.S.
That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.