Press Releases

Agriculture Committee highlights importance of trade to U.S. agriculture

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Washington, DC, March 18, 2015 | comments

Today, Rep. K. Michael Conaway, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, held a public hearing to review the importance of trade to U.S. agriculture. In 2014, U.S. agricultural exports reached a record-setting $152.5 billion, an increase of 58% over the last five years. Members and the witnesses emphasized that with 95 percent of the world’s population residing outside of the United States, it is imperative that the U.S. works to expand market access while eliminating international barriers to trade.  They made it clear in today’s hearing that passing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is key to this effort.

“While agricultural exports account for nearly one-third of total U.S. farm income, several opportunities exist to further expand market access while leveling the global playing field for American farmers and ranchers,” Chairman Conaway said. “In passing TPA, Congress defines trade priorities along with the terms and conditions under which the President may enter into trade agreements. TPA would pave the way for our trade negotiators to finalize key trade deals that work for agriculture by giving our negotiating partners the confidence to bring their best offers to the table. If we are unsuccessful in our efforts to gain access to markets for American food and fiber products, other countries will fill that demand. That is why it is time to pass TPA.”

Written testimony provided by the witnesses is linked below. Click here for more information, including Chairman Conaway's opening statement and the archived webcast.

Witness List:

Mr. Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Washington, DC

Dr. Howard Hill, President, National Pork Producers Council, Cambridge, IA

Mr. Pete Kappelman, Chairman, International Trade Committee, National Milk Producers Federation, Two Rivers, WI

Mr. Robert Guenther, Senior Vice President for Public Policy, United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, DC

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