Thune Initially Concerned About Trade Deal

Oct 7, 2015

United States Senator John Thune says he generally supports trade deals, but some parts of the latest international agreement raise his concern. Eleven countries and the United States have struck a deal called TPP. That stands for Trans-Pacific Partnership. It has economic and political implications.

Thune says he’s heard pieces of the deal since Monday’s agreement, and he’s concerned about some of the elements.

“It looks like on a whole range of issues that we sort of gave up the farm, no pun intended. I hope that that’s wrong. You know, we’re fighting hard on some dairy issues – some access issues there with Canada and Australia, so we want to make sure that our producers are treated fairly,” Thune says. “And just what I’ve seen, kind of the early anecdotal reaction to this thing has suggested that on a whole range of the major issues that we made some very significant concessions.”

Thune says he hopes that’s not accurate. The Senator says trade agreements are important because they open new markets to American products. He says that means more opportunity for people like ag producers.

US Senator John Thune / (R) South Dakota
Credit John Thune

“In large markets, places like Japan, Canada as well as some of the more fast-growing and emerging markets like Malaysia and Vietnam,” Thune says. “TPP has the potential to grow American exports when you consider that the combined nations in that agreement account for about 40 percent of the entire global economy, but we’ve got to make sure that the agreement lives up to the high standards that we set in the Trade Promotion Authority bill which we enacted earlier this year.”

Thune says he plans to carefully review the details of TPP before he decides whether to support the agreement.