The American Peanut Council supports the recent Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which opens up and expands markets for U.S. peanuts and peanut products in Asia.
The American Peanut Council welcomes the conclusion of the negotiations to establish the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which links the United States, Japan and ten other Asia Pacific nations through one of the most important trade accords ever developed. The TPP brings substantial, unprecedented progress in opening the markets of Asia to exporters of U.S. peanuts and peanut products.
APC has worked closely with U.S. Government officials to pursue TPP results that would be commercially meaningful for the U.S. peanut industry. We believe that this goal has been accomplished, and we very much appreciate the attention to our priorities and the tireless negotiating efforts provided especially by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.
Among many other benefits, implementation of the TPP agreement will bring significant improvements in access to the Japanese market for U.S. peanuts and peanut products. Japan has been one of the top export destinations for the U.S. peanut industry, surpassing $20 million in sales annually, and the TPP agreement will offer outstanding opportunities to further develop this market.
The TPP benefits will extend well beyond Japan. Vietnam has a young population of more than 90 million people and a rapidly growing economy, and its current tariffs ranging up to 30 percent on U.S. peanuts and peanut products will be eliminated within eight years. Other TPP countries such as Malaysia and New Zealand will immediately eliminate all of their tariffs on U.S. peanuts and peanut products.
As part of the TPP agreement, U.S. tariffs on peanuts and peanut products will be eliminated within ten years.
The TPP will bring important competitive advantages for U.S. exporters. For example, China has been the dominant supplier of peanuts to Japan, and it has had a major share of the import market in Malaysia. However, China is not a TPP participant and will not benefit from the market-opening measures provided by the agreement. Other major peanut exporters such as Argentina and India are also not TPP members.
Formal approval of the TPP agreement by the U.S. Congress is required before any of the participating countries will implement its provisions. APC urges that the process established by the Congress to provide this approval move forward as quickly as possible.