"The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a potential free trade agreement (FTA) being negotiated among 12 countries of the Asia-Pacific region: the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The TPP negotiations, which the United States joined in 2008, cover a broad range of trade topics from government procurement to foreign investment to trade in services, to cite just a few. Negotiations over market access for agricultural products have figured prominently in the discussions as one of a number of agricultural topics under negotiation. […] Trade is vital for U.S. agriculture, absorbing about 20% of total agricultural production, with exports claiming a far larger portion than that of the output of a number of important commodity crops, including cotton, rice, wheat, soybeans, almonds, and pecans, to cite a few. By adding to the demand for U.S. farm products, exports support commodity prices and contribute materially to higher farm income. U.S. consumer demand for food is growing slowly, while exports allow farm products to tap into higher growth foreign markets. Given that some 95% of the world's population resides outside the United States, and that this population controls 80% of the world's consumer purchasing power, the importance to U.S. agriculture and food industries of capturing a share of the faster growth of demand for food in developing countries is imperative. Moreover the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has pointed out that most of the expected increase in middle-class households--those with real purchasing power parity incomes in excess of $20,000 a year--numbering some 300 million between 2013 and 2023 is expected to occur in developing countries. Furthermore, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development projects that by 2030, 66% of the world's middle class will reside in Asia."
CRS In Focus, IF10233
National Agricultural Law Center: http://nationalaglawcenter.org/