The U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade has sent a letter to President Trump highlighting the importance of trade with Asian-Pacific countries and expressing interest in working with the administration to build trade relationships.
"The Asia-Pacific region is the world’s largest market for food and agriculture and is expected to grow rapidly in the years ahead," the letter reads.
A total of 87 organizations and companies from the food and agriculture sector signed the letter.
"The food and agricultural industry from farm to fork employs more than 15 million Americans," the letter reads. "The U.S. food and beverage industry alone represents 12% of all U.S. manufacturing jobs, making it the largest employer in the manufacturing sector."
The letter says that the ability of the agricultural sector to continue to create jobs and support economic growth depends on increasing access to markets outside the United States.
"With more than 95% of our potential customers living outside our borders, expanding access to international markets is essential for our future success," the letter reads.
“Reducing and eliminating tariffs and other restrictive agricultural policies in this region will help American workers in our sector compete, creating an opportunity to supply Asian markets with high-quality food and agricultural goods."
“We hope your Administration will create such opportunities for our sector by deepening U.S. economic engagement in this critical region while responding to the Asia-only regional trade agreements being negotiated by our foreign competitors. While many in our sector strongly supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we hope future agreements build upon the valuable aspects of that agreement to increase our market access in the Asia-Pacific.
“We welcome an opportunity to work with your Administration to ensure that America’s farmers, ranchers, processors and food companies do not fall behind our foreign peers in this vitally important economic region,” the letter adds.
Organizations signing the letter include: American Farm Bureau Federation, American Seed Trade Association, American Soybean Association, ADM, CHS, International Dairy Foods Association, JBS USA, North American Meat Institute, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Turkey Federation, U.S. Grains Council and North American Meat Institute.
Source: U.S. Grains Council, North American Meat Institute