The National Corn Growers Association hosted Trade School in Washington D.C. last week. More than 50 farmers, ranchers and ag professionals took the opportunity to learn more about trade issues and rally support for TPP.
“Trade policy has a significant impact on me as a farmer. The success of my business and the livelihood of my community depend on expanding markets for U.S. agricultural products,” said John Linder, a farmer from Edison, Ohio who serves as chairman of the NCGA Biotechnology and Trade Action Team.
“With so many trade issues front and center right now, we wanted farmers to walk away with the knowledge and resources to become trade advocates, here in Washington and back home in their communities.”
Over the course of two days, trade school attendees learned from public and private sector experts about the importance of trade to the agriculture sector; the role of the World Trade Organization; global population and dietary trends and their implications for agriculture; the growing ethanol export market; and the current state of play for TPP and other international trade agreements.
Participants also spent time on the Hill, asking their Congressional representatives to support TPP and to pass it this year.
“The biggest thing I learned in trade school is, the world is not waiting for us. Our competitors have negotiated regional and bilateral trade agreements that put American farmers and ranchers at a disadvantage in the global marketplace,” said Linder.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is our opportunity to level the playing field, and protect and expand our market share. The clock is ticking for American agriculture. It’s time for Congress to act.”