The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has strongly urged members of the House of Representatives in a letter to vote “yes” for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), stating, “TPA is key to successfully negotiating trade agreements vital to the growth of the U.S. animal food industry.”
AFIA, which represents 75 percent of the commercial animal food produced in the U.S., explained the breadth of the feed industry, as it indirectly represents 70-plus percent of the cost of producing meat, milk and dairy products.
“With the passage of TPA — and subsequently new trade agreements down the line — the feed industry will have better access to growing global demands,” said Gina Tumbarello, AFIA director of international policy and trade.
Tumbarello noted last year alone the U.S. exported more than $10 billion worth of animal feeds, animal food ingredients and pet food.
“Passage of TPA sends a clear message to our trade partners that U.S. representatives have unambiguous authority to negotiate these agreements,” AFIA wrote. “TPA ensures negotiating partners have confidence in the United States’ ability to live up to the terms of any negotiated agreement because Congress cannot change the draft treaty prior to voting to approve or disapprove the deal.”
AFIA firmly believes a lack of TPA for this administration will likely scuttle other pending trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. If these agreements collapse, the U.S. loses new export market opportunities for agricultural products.
“We need trading rules developed on sound science — rules that create an equal, level playing field. Passage of TPA can provide that,” said Tumbarello.