To more adequately and expeditiously address and resolve sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) trade impediments and technical barriers to trade (TBT) in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the Food and Agriculture Task Force  of the U.S. Business Coalition for the TPP expressed its strong support and interest for a “rapid response mechanism.” In comments filed this week with president’s Export Council,  the task force explained that agricultural trade is frequently confronted with SPS and TBT measures that unnecessarily delay and prevent shipments of critically important and perishable agricultural products. Improved trade requires transparency, predictability, and timely mitigation when disputes occur.

A rapid response mechanism is quite compatible with the concept of “WTO-plus” obligations that go beyond the WTO SPS Agreement on issues such as risk assessment, risk management, transparency, border checks-laboratory testing, and facilitating trade through regulatory coherence measures. The Task Force sees the mechanism acting like a “small claims court” to resolve issues in the manner that least distorts trade.

The National Chicken Council is a member of the 33 member task force that is chaired by the North American Export Grain Association and American Meat Institute.  The letter is available here.