Kansas Wheat Supports TPP Approval and Expansion

Posted November 12, 2015

Kansas Wheat, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) are pleased that negotiators have reached an agreement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The two national organizations expressed support this month of the TPP because it will be beneficial to U.S. wheat producers and improve their competitiveness in the Asia-Pacific region.

The following resolution was approved by the groups on November 6, 2015, at the Fall Wheat Conference.

“NAWG and USW support rapid approval of TPP because it will be beneficial to U.S. Wheat producers and improve their competitiveness in the Asia-Pacific region. We also support expansion of the TPP to other wheat importing countries in the region as a top priority for USTR.”

Kansas wheat farmers Mike Jordan of Beloit and Ken Wood of Chapman serve on the National Association of Wheat Growers board of directors. Jay Armstrong of Muscotah and Brian Linin of Goodland serve on the board of U.S. Wheat Associates.

With domestic wheat consumption relatively stable, the largest potential growth lies in developing markets with rising middle classes – like those in Southeast Asia that are included in the TPP. However, these agreements also include some of the most stable customers, like Japan, where wheat is a very politically sensitive crop.

“Kansas farmers, in particular, have much to gain from Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Daniel Heady, Kansas Wheat director of governmental affairs. “The TPP will help expand existing trade between Kansas and current U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) partners, which will support economic growth and jobs in Kansas. In addition, the TPP will also open new markets for Kansas with five Asia-Pacific countries — Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam — that are not current U.S. FTA partners, benefiting a variety of Kansas businesses, farmers, and workers. Japan alone purchases roughly 10 percent of all U.S. wheat exports each year.”

Wheat, soybeans, beef, animal feed and hides are all commodities that will see market development from the TPP. It will boost demand for these products, and more, among nearly 500 million consumers in 11 countries across the Asia-Pacific region.

Significant new market opportunities will arise for Kansas wheat with the final passage of TPP. Japan will issue new tariff-rate quotas for wheat and wheat products within six years, Vietnam will eliminate tariffs that go as high as 31% within four years and three other countries will eliminate all tariffs immediately.

For all these reasons, the U.S. wheat industry is unified in its support of trade promotion authority as a means to negotiate – and complete – comprehensive trade agreements.

Kansas Wheat growers thank the Kansas delegation and the entire U.S. team focused on agricultural issues for their leadership and hard work in concluding these important TPP negotiations.