After many years of negotiating, the United States, Canada, Japan and 9 other countries have concluded a free trade agreement designed to cut trade tariffs and sets common standards.
The so-called Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), initiated in late 2008, is a regional trade deal including the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, which account for nearly 40% of global GDP. The signing of the agreement after talks in Atlanta, US, marks the end of years of tense negotiations.
Opportunity for US chicken exports
The United States National Chicken Council (NPPC) has expressed confidence that the partnership will provide new market opportunities for American poultry products.
"NCC applauds US Trade Representative Michael Froman and his team of negotiators for their years of work on the TPP. The TPP represents a significant opportunity to expand US chicken exports and bring increased economic benefits to chicken farmers and companies across the country.
"Our major goals in this deal are to get a strong commitment on enforcement, in particular in the area of sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Second, we hope to see that the long-protected Canadian market is finally opened to free trade for poultry. We look forward to reviewing what we hope will be a commercially meaningful and high standard agreement that will open markets and increase US chicken exports."
Common trading standards
In addition, Barry Carpenter, president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) said, "TPP will cut trade barriers and set common standards for more than 40% of the global economy. It is essential to the stability and long-term viability of our industry by expanding US beef, pork, lamb and poultry exports. The agreement holds enormous potential for American meat exports, and levels the playing field for American workers and business in the world's fastest growing economic region."
"The Meat Institute looks forward to reviewing the final text and to working with Congress to ensure its full approval and implementation," Carpenter added.
Greater trade benefits
Despite the success of the negotiations, the deal still has to be ratified by lawmakers in each country.
The TPP has the potential to provide even greater trade benefits if and when it is opened to additional countries, such as the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, all of which have expressed interest in joining the Pacific Rim trade bloc.