Oregon Ag hurt daily with trade delay

Skye Krebs, Jerome Rosa, John O'Keeffe, Matt McElligott (OCA members in Wash. D.C.)By Oregon Cattlemen Association

Everyday Congress waits to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership; the Oregon cattle industry is hurt by export tariffs that could be addressed with the passing of TPP.

Jerome Rosa, executive director of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, is currently in Washington D.C. with 6 other OCA members. They are hoping to encourage Legislators to pass TPP. “We have already been meeting with legislators and will continue to do so over the next couple days to discuss the importance of TPP.”

Rosa said the fact that our current President is supportive of a measure that benefits agriculture should encourage ag enthusiasts in the Capitol to get the legislation through. “It is rare for the current administration to support measures that are good for agriculture. We need to encourage this opportunity to be accessed as it will benefit the cattle industry and many other ag commodities.”

He also noted that the delay of TPP’s passage costs the U.S. large amounts of money. “Pacific rim countries, particularly Japan, are important trade partners with Oregon’s cattle industry and are being affected by high tariffs.”

The Oregon Beef Council’s Chief Executive Officer Will Wise also noted the urgency of moving this legislation forward in a swift manner.

“The importance of the TPP agreement is in getting lower tariffs in export markets,” Wise said. “If we don’t get TPP enacted, we have a distinct disadvantage for Oregon beef producers compared to our competitors in other countries.” As an example, he noted that Australia has a much lower tariff for their beef entering Japan. Passing TPP would level the playing field for U.S. exporters.

Some Oregonians have expressed concern over Oregon beef not being as readily available if TPP passes. Wise said those concerns can be laid to rest. “Local Oregon beef supplies will be solid regardless of what happens with trade agreements,” Wise said. “We care greatly about our Oregon grocery retail and foodservice buyers.”

The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association was founded in 1913 and works to promote environmentally and socially sound industry practices, improve and strengthen the economics of the industry, and protect its industry communities and private property rights.

By Kayli Hanley

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