The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, has made major headlines lately, and those stories that focus on the partnership’s benefits for the country’s agricultural industry have been favorable, including those concerning Florida agriculture. Representing more than 40 percent of global trade, the USDA maintains that the “TPP is an opportunity to advance U.S. economic interests in this critical region and to respond to the Asia-only regional trade agreements being negotiated by our competitors.” Essentially, the partnership reduces tariffs and opens markets for U.S. agricultural goods in countries in the Asian-Pacific region. Many wonder how the TPP will affect Florida’s agriculture industry.
While no one has a crystal ball to see exactly what the future will bring, the USDA and those involved in creating the partnership hope the TPP will boost the U.S. ag industry, increase jobs and grow America’s rural economy. Like many states, agriculture is big in Florida—second to industries like tourism—with annual ag exports totaling $4 billion, according to USDA ERS. Over 30,000 jobs in Florida alone rely on ag exports, so increased exports will only increase that number.
The TPP will likely have a big impact on the Sunshine State’s top five agricultural exports: Fruits and Nuts, Vegetables, Dairy, Cotton and Beef. According to a USDA report, countries like Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam will eliminate tariffs on fresh and processed fruits (including citrus), and tree nuts like almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts and walnuts. Similarly, they will also eliminate all or nearly all tariffs on fresh and processed vegetables and potatoes. Lastly, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and Canada with either eliminate tariffs or create tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) on dairy products like cheese, whey and more. You can find information for each state from the USDA here. All in all, the TPP will likely affect four of Florida’s five main exports, meaning Florida agriculture will continue to grow.