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Food & Ag Industry Members Ask Congress for Trade Agreement with UK

Article-Food & Ag Industry Members Ask Congress for Trade Agreement with UK

Image courtesy of shin28 / iStock / Getty Images Plus US food companies want trade with UK
Food manufacturers and associations want a trade agreement with the UK, as the US is seeing its trade partners outpacing the states in the benefits of their trade policies.
The US has completed just four trade agreements since 2010.

There are 48 food and agriculture industry members wrote Congress in support of bills S. 629 and H.R. 3653, the Undertaking Negotiations on Investment and Trade for Economic Dynamism (UNITED) Act, which would grant the President, in consultation with Congress, the power to seek a comprehensive trade agreement between the US and UK.

Just some who signed the letter include Cargill, Food Industry Association, Pet Food Institute, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association, American Bakers Association, Pacific Seafood Processors Association, and National Grain & Feed Association.

In part, the letter asks: “As supporters of trade agreements that advance American strategic and economic interests, we see these bills as a tremendous opportunity. A comprehensive trade agreement with the UK would broaden the scope of exporting opportunities for American businesses, strengthen our supply chain resilience, and improve the well-being of our consumers.”

The letter is in conjunction with a recently released report from the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), Trade Agreements, and US Competitiveness, revealing the US is falling behind its competitors in reducing global trade barriers. The report tracks trade agreements since 2010 and shows that China, Japan, the European Union, and Canada have all outpaced the U.S. in creation of new bilateral and multilateral trade arrangements.

While US competitors expand economic opportunities, this country is stalled, diminishing American economic competitiveness. The report comes days after the USDA announced a lowered forecast for US agricultural exports, increasing the size of the projected agricultural trade deficit to $17 billion.

“We celebrate the UNITED Act’s bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress to get back to work on building American economic growth through smart trade agreements. This new report shows the dangerous consequences of failing to do so,” said John Bode, president and CEO of CRA. “Sadly, we are standing still while China and others speed up. Comparing benefits to the U.S. under new trade agreements signed since 2010, China has enjoyed over four times the benefits and the EU has enjoyed over twice the benefits.”

Key findings from the analysis include:

  • While the US has completed four trade agreements since 2010, including the modernization of an existing agreement, China has entered 10 new agreements and updated two agreements, Japan has entered seven, the EU has entered eight, and Canada has entered nine.
  • Several key US trade partners are outpacing the US in the benefits of their trade policies, with the EU and China experiencing lower tariffs and other reduced trade barriers on an estimated $557 billion and $1,151 billion in total trade, respectively, compared with the US at $245 billion.
  • Regional trade agreements like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) are particularly powerful tools to accelerate and deepen economic influence and integration of the signatory countries. Despite this, reconsideration of the prior Administration’s withdrawal from CPTPP has been rejected.
  • Shifting US trade policy to open foreign markets fosters US global competitiveness and encourages American participation in rule setting for international trade, in turn securing benefits for the US economy, American workers, and consumers.

View the Trade Agreements and U.S. Competitiveness report here. View the full letter to Congress on the UNITED Act and to see all companies and organizations who signed it.

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