US - As the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) struggles to gain support on Capitol Hill, a survey of Wisconsin dairy farmers suggests they overwhelmingly agree that Congress should reject the trade agreement in its current form.
In a survey of more than 1,000 dairy producers, conducted by Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU), nearly 80 per cent of respondents agreed TPP should be rejected until milk import concerns are resolved in the agreement.
For a majority of the surveyed producers, opening up US borders for low-cost Milk Protein Concentrates (MPCs) imports is the most common concern with the current TPP trade agreement.
“In the case of TPP, we will be opening our borders to a flood of low-cost MPCs from New Zealand, which will displace Wisconsin milk in cheese production. This loss will supposedly be offset by giving US dairy producers access to the Japanese market, but that access could evaporate overnight if Japan manipulates its currency to make US imports more expensive,” said WFU President Darin Von Ruden. “TPP should be put on hold until it includes binding provisions against currency manipulation.
The survey also asked respondents to rate their level of concern about entering into a trade agreement with countries who are known currency manipulators and the loss of US sovereignty due to the expansion of Investor-State dispute resolutions. More than half of the respondents said they were “very concerned” about currency manipulation, while 70 per cent answered they were “very” or “somewhat concerned” about the loss of US sovereignty.
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