Criticism of the Trans-Pacific Partnership intensified after 160 farm, food, and faith groups sent a letter to Capitol Hill asking lawmakers to reject the pact.  The group said the main beneficiaries of TPP are companies that buy, process, and ship raw ag commodities, and not farmers who face real risks from rising import competition.  They say TPP imports will compete against US farmers who are facing declining farm prices that are projected to stay low for years.  The White House has promoted TPP as an export boon for farmers.

The House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to the fiscal 2017 agricultural spending bill that prevents the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration from implementing regulations that would negatively affect livestock producers.  GIPSA proposed sweeping regulation changes in 2010, called the “GIPSA Rule,” that would limit farmers ability to sell animals, dictated private contract terms, and made it harder to get farm financing. A study found the proposed rule would have cost the US Ag economy almost 23,000 jobs and reduced GDP by $1.56 billion annually.