A group of agriculture and food organizations, including the American Sheep Industry Association, representing the vast majority of the nation's producers, processors and exporters issued a Statement of Core Principles for a Successful Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement this week to Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman. These principles are aimed at ensuring that the TPP negotiations fulfill a promise of a high-quality agreement that can serve as a standard for future trade agreements.
These principles include:
- the TPP agreement must cover all elements of trade and investment, including agriculture;
- there must be no product or sector exclusions, including in agriculture;
- all tariffs and other market access barriers must be phased out by the end of the negotiated transition period;
- risk-based scientific decision making, regulatory convergence and equivalence are important;
- a rapid response mechanism is needed to address frustration of trade in perishable and time-sensitive shipments;
- obligations that go beyond those in the World Trade Organization must be subject to TPP enforcement provisions, including in the sanitary and phytosanitary chapter; and
- the agreement must be a single undertaking.