Possible Final Talks of Trans-Pacific Partnership; Safe Food Labeling Passed in the House
Trans-Pacific Partnership talks kick off today in Hawaii, in what could be the final round of negotiations ahead of finalizing a trade-pact. The Trans-Pacific Partnership includes the United States and 11 Pacific Rim countries. The TPP trade deal is the most important free-trade agreement in years. If completed, it will be the largest regional trade deal ever, with its members accounting for nearly 40% of the world economy. The trade talks remain confidential but once complete, governments will have several months to review the final deal.
While the U.S. House passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, the Senate is not likely to consider the measure until this fall, after the August Recess. Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota said he would not introduce a biotechnology labeling bill until fall. 230 Republicans and 45 Democrats voted for the bill in the House that would stop states from labeling foods with genetically modified ingredients and establish a voluntary “non-GMO” labeling program administered by USDA. Hoeven said that he did not know if the House bill would pass the Senate, but that he does not yet have a bill that would pass the Senate.