“Every effort” must be made during the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations “to ensure that the Vietnamese agricultural market is fully liberalized,” the National Chicken Council and 45 other groups stated in a September 7 letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.  Of the current participants in the TPP, Vietnam “holds far and away the greatest market potential” for U.S. food and agricultural products and without a successful conclusion to the TPP process, U.S. agriculture will be at a disadvantage when compared with other countries that have free trade agreements with Vietnam, the groups argued.

U.S. agricultural exports to Vietnam were $216 million in 2007 when that country joined the World Trade Organization and have expanded significantly to $1.64 billion.  Existing tariff and non-tariff trade barriers must be removed if opportunities in this fast-growing market are to continue to be fully realized.  “TPP is the only active process available that can achieve this objective,” the letter said.

In addition to NCC other signors of the letter with  poultry interests were the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, National Turkey Federation, Tyson Foods, Cargill, and ConAgra Foods.  The letter is available here.