Washington, DC – Today, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI)Jimmy Panetta (D-CA)Jodey Arrington (R-TX)Jim Costa (D-CA)Dusty Johnson (R-SD), and Randy Feenstra (R-IA) led a bipartisan group of 87 Members of Congress in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack urging them to make agriculture a priority in the upcoming Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (Framework). U.S. agriculture products, which are made with the highest sustainability and labor standards, need global markets to continue to grow. The Indo-Pacific region offers ample opportunity for our farmers and ranchers, and the Framework has the potential to reduce discriminatory barriers and increase access for our producers in these markets. This bipartisan group looks forward to the Biden Administration’s focus on agriculture in the upcoming discussions.  


“America’s farmers are some of the world’s most productive, helping to feed and fuel communities around the globe. As discussions on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework continue, I urge the Administration to make agriculture a priority in order to expand opportunities for our producers, create jobs here at home, and improve our competitiveness in the region. I look forward to continuing to work with Ambassador Tai and Secretary Vilsack on this issue to support our outstanding family farmers and producers across Wisconsin and the nation,” said Rep. Ron Kind.   


“American agriculture producers lead the world in sustainable production and labor standards.  As the Biden Administration formulates the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework with key trade partners, I urge them to prioritize agriculture by setting high standards for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures, and by reducing tariff and non-tariff trade barriers wherever they can,” said Rep. Panetta. “Our farmers and ranchers are ready to feed the world, and we cannot not let discriminatory regulations or a lack of cooperation stand in their way.”  


“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a strong reminder of the importance of having a diverse and abundant food supply. As food prices climb, it is critical that this Administration prioritizes our agriculture producers as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework discussions move forward. It is imperative that we aggressively pursue additional global markets and increase engagement with countries that rely on nefarious actors like Russia and China in order to maintain a strong and stable global food system,” said Rep. Jodey C. Arrington 


“American ag producers feed the world. Solidifying a strong agriculture trade agreement with the Indo-Pacific region would create more American jobs, add real dollars to our economy, and combat China’s influence in the region. Agriculture needs to have a seat at the table during these negotiations,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson.  


“Iowa’s agricultural industry is the backbone of our local and national economy,” said Rep. Randy Feenstra. “As the Biden Administration negotiates the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, it is critical that we open foreign markets to Iowa agricultural products and enforce free and fair trade deals across the globe. Our farmers and producers deserve nothing less than a level playing field to sell their quality goods to the world.”  


“The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework is a strong approach to improving economic relationships in this vital region for U.S. agricultural exports. Our focus is on removing trade barriers to agricultural products and expanding access to American goods in the region,” said Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation.  


“With free and fair trade an integral part of the International Fresh Produce Association’s strategic priorities, we applaud Congressman Panetta’s efforts to ensure U.S. agriculture is prioritized in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. This region includes key markets for fresh fruits and vegetables grown by many IFPA members, yet non-tariff trade barriers continue to hamper the flow of products. We look forward to working with leadership to address these challenges and providing our expertise wherever possible,” said Robert Guenther, Chief Policy Office at the International Fresh Produce Association.  


“Expanding export market access opportunities for American-made dairy products is vitally important to dairy farmers and processors. We appreciate the leadership of Representatives Panetta and Arrington in urging the Administration to use the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework discussions to deliver meaningful gains for America’s farmers and food manufacturers by tackling both tariff and nontariff barriers to U.S. agricultural exports,” said Jaime Castaneda, Executive Vice President of Policy Development & Strategy for the National Milk Producers Federation & the U.S. Dairy Export Council. “Our members are eager to ensure that the U.S. government makes full use of the currently envisioned trade tools to meaningfully improve dairy export opportunities while also continuing to evaluate additional ways to remove barriers to exports.”  

Read the letter to Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Tai here 

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