US - The US government has this week voted in favour of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), in a move that trade authorities hope will 'unlock opportunities' for American farmers.
TPA defines the procedure for making new trade agreements, whilst allowing Congress the final say on whether such agreements should be implemented.
Passing the TPA is expected to allow the authorities to move forward with plans for a Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would give the US access to more markets around the world.
The TPA bill now only needs to be signed off by President Obama.
In a statement, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said: "Today, the US Congress made clear that the United States intends to lead on trade, deliver more, good middle class jobs and unlock opportunity for American workers, farmers, ranchers and small businesses across the country.
"A bipartisan majority of the Senate has now joined a similar majority in the House in demonstrating that there is broad support for US leadership in establishing the rules for trade.
"Based on this support, the US can speak with one voice as we move forward to final passage and with trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP)."
The US National Chicken Council (NCC) said that American poultry producers have long been one of the strongest advocates of free and fair trade, and have supported the efforts of both Democrat and Republican administrations to negotiate important trade agreements.
With almost one in five pounds of chicken being exported from the US, a robust and expanding overseas market is critically important to the economic health and well-being of poultry producers, the NCC said.
Chicken exports consist largely of leg quarters and other back-of-bird parts. Whilst North American consumers overwhelmingly prefer white breast meat, worldwide consumers greatly prefer dark meat. This circumstance means that exports are very necessary to achieve a better balance of supply and demand for all parts of the chicken.
NCC President Mike Brown said: “TPA will ensure foreign access for US chicken, generate more farm income, jobs in rural districts, and improve the US trade balance.
“At one time, Russia and China were the United States’ two largest poultry export markets, but these two markets have been severely disrupted with trade curtailed from previous levels. It is now more important than ever to expand poultry sales to other world markets,” Mr Brown continued.
“We are the most efficient poultry producing country in the world and the potential benefits from free and fair trade for US poultry producers are very substantial.”
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