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Produce associations join coalition urging U.S.-UK trade agreement

usa uk trade

June 07, 2023 WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, 48 food and agriculture industry members wrote Congress in support of 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 United States and the United Kingdom.

The letter states, “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 U.K. would broaden the scope of exporting opportunities for American businesses, strengthen our supply chain resilience, and improve the well-being of our consumers.”

This letter comes in conjunction with a recently released report from the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), Trade Agreements and U.S. Competitiveness, revealing the United States 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 U.S. competitors expand their economic opportunities, the U.S. is stalled, diminishing American economic competitiveness. The report comes days after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a lowered forecast for U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. trade partners are outpacing the U.S. 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 U.S.’ $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 U.S. trade policy to open foreign markets fosters U.S. global competitiveness and encourages American participation in rule setting for international trade, in turn securing benefits for the U.S. economy, American workers, and consumers.

The full Trade Agreements and U.S. Competitiveness report is available here.

The full letter to Congress on the UNITED Act is available here.

The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) is the national trade association representing the corn refining industry of the United States. CRA and its predecessors have served this important segment of American agribusiness since 1913. Corn refiners manufacture sweeteners, starch, advanced bioproducts, corn oil and feed products from corn components such as starch, oil, protein, and fiber.