Ag Policy Blog

TPP Deal: By the Numbers

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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The Obama administration and groups supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership touted a report released Wednesday on the economic impacts of the 12-nation trade pact.

Besides the U.S., TPP includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The U.S. International Trade Commission report provides a detailed look the impacts of the trade deal on the U.S. economy and various sectors of the economy, including agriculture and different commodities or agricultural products.

It's hard to point to a single number finding a boom or bust for the U.S. in the trade deal overall. The main findings instead show TPP would have a fairly small impact on the overall U.S. economy. Within 15 years, it would bump up overall annual income by $57.3 billion higher than current projections. Spread out, that translates into a national income boost of about .23 of 1%.

Additionally, TPP, again over 15 years, would add roughly 128,000 jobs to the U.S. economy. To put that into context, the U.S. economy added 160,000 jobs in April and economists considered that to be relatively weak monthly report.

The report adds that U.S. exports for all sectors of the economy would be $27.2 billion higher than currently projected in 15 years, or about 1% higher. Imports would grow by $48.9 billion, or about 1.1% higher than they would otherwise. In other words, TPP would increase the annual trade deficit by $21.7 billion.

Regarding agriculture, the commission report determined that in 2032 agriculture output would be $10 billion higher, or .5 of 1%, higher than otherwise projected without TPP. Ag exports would mainly grow in Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, New Zealand and Brunei, which are countries that currently do not have separate free trade agreements with the U.S.

Overall, the commission report cited that agricultural exports would grow over 15 years by $7.2 billion more than they would otherwise without the agreement. Ag imports would increase by about $2.7 billion. Thus, at full implementation, agriculture should gain about $4.5 billion in net exports under the trade deal.

The biggest ag winner in exports would be dairy, which would see exports increase by $1.845 billion to TPP countries by 2032 while imports of dairy products were projected to increase by $348.6 million for a net export gain of about $1.49 billion.

Processed foods would increase exports by $1.54 billion while imports of such foods would grow by $427 billion, for a net gain of $1.1 billion.

Beef would see increased exports of $876.1 million but imports of beef would increase by $419 million for a net gain of $457 million in sales.

Pork would not see the exports one might expect with Asian countries. According to the analysis, pork exports would increase by $219.3 million while imports would increase by $94.4 million. That's a net gain of about $124.9 million in pork exports.

Other commodities would actually be export-import losers. Notably, raw soybeans, would see exports to TPP countries decline by $419.4 million by 2032 while imports of soybeans would increase by $26.6 million. Still, soybean meal would see increased exports of about $113.4 million and soybean oil of about $27.7 million. Taken as a whole, the soybean complex would see exports to TPP countries drop by $278.3 million while imports would go up about $29 million.

Rice exports to TPP countries would decline by about $12.5 million while rice imports would increase by about $15.3 million.

Wheat would see exports decline by about $1.5 million while imports would boost by about $18.2 million.

Corn would see exports decline by about $31.3 million as well while imports would increase by about 2.5 million.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack cited that the commission report mirrored other reports from the Peterson Institute and American Farm Bureau also touting the benefits to agriculture. Vilsack said the commission report adds to those analyses.

"Agricultural exports drive 20% of U.S. farm income and trade is critical not only to the continued growth of not only the sector, but to rural communities at large," Vilsack stated. "Throughout this Administration, we have expanded access of U.S. Agricultural products to new markets and TPP would further expand the markets for our American-grown products, allowing our goods to compete on a level-playing field and reach more consumers hungry for U.S. agriculture. If we don't act, not only will we lose these opportunities, we will be ceding our leadership in the region to China, allowing them to define the rules that the Pacific Rim plays by. We can't afford to delay passage; there is simply too much at stake."

The full U.S. International Trade Commission report can be found at https://www.usitc.gov/…

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