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Newark, Delaware — 2015 has been a year of renewed focus as the United States and other countries continued to make progress on expanding global trade. With support from Congressional leaders, approval of Trade Promotion Authority in the United States set a solid foundation in June, allowing for fast-tracked trade negotiations. And, more recently, on Monday, Oct. 5, agreement was reached by 12 Pacific Rim countries on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

PMA has actively engaged in global trade discussions as part of their Issues Leadership work – which focuses on those priorities that members care about most. As an advocate for free and fair trade deals, PMA   is pleased to see agreement of the 12 countries on TPP because of the increased opportunity for global commerce. “We look forward to evaluating the full text over the coming weeks and months to interpret the impact on our members,” said Richard Owen, PMA vice president of global business development. He noted the 12 countries included in the TPP in particular represent more than 85 percent of PMA’s global membership.

Owen observed, “The expectation of consumers for year-round fresh produce means the produce industry, buyers and sellers alike, depend heavily on continued strong growth of international trade and ease of product movement across borders. Our members care about trade no matter what side of the world they call home.”

“According to the USDA, TPP will provide substantial market opportunities for U.S. exporters, promoting economic growth and expanding demand for U.S. food and agricultural products among about 500 million consumers around the world. While the TPP analysis is just starting to be released, we look forward to combing through the details once the full text of the agreement is released for review and we’ll be sharing those highlights with our members,” said Owen.

Find more information on the impact TPP will have directly on the fresh produce industry on PMA’s Issues Leadership blog.

Global trade focus at Fresh Summit

Because global trade is an important area of focus for PMA members, nearly a dozen global trade experts from the fresh produce, agriculture and trade industries will convene for two education sessions at PMA’s Fresh Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, this month. Representatives from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the Port of Los Angeles, Northwest Horticultural Council, Maersk, and Camposol will address conference attendees on Friday, October 23, to discuss international trade agreements, as well as shipping challenges.

The first global trade-session, starting at 12:45pm on Friday, will highlight key trade agreements under negotiation such as TPP and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The second of the sessions will look at issues impacting maritime shipping. To start the session, economist Andriy Yarmak from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations will explore key global markets and trends that will impact ocean transportation in the coming years. This will be followed by a panel discussion with leaders engaged in the maritime transport industry and fresh produce who will explore opportunities, challenges, and strategies for overcoming disruptors.

“More and more produce moves across international frontiers. Those in our business from all exporting and importing countries–whether growers, packers, marketers, or  buyers– need to know the rules of the game, rules that are largely negotiated between governments,” said Christian Schlect, president of Northwest Horticultural Council and a panelist in the trade agreements session.

For more information on all of the education workshops at this year’s Fresh Summit, click here.

About Produce Marketing Association (PMA)

Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com.

Source: Produce Marketing Association (PMA)


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