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Scuse returns to Carvel to discuss trade agreement
By JONATHAN CRIBBS
GEORGETOWN, Del. (March 3, 2015) — Michael Scuse, a USDA under secretary and former Delaware agriculture chief, pushed the importance of two international trade agreements here Feb. 20, calling them critical to the continued growth of American agriculture.
Scuse spoke at the University of Delaware’s Carvel Research and Education Center about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive free-trade agreement with Mexico, Canada, Japan, Singapore and seven additional countries, and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which would link the United States and Europe.
“It has a tremendous amount of potential to help agriculture across the United States,” Scuse said about the Trans-Pacific Partnership in an interview with The Delmarva Farmer after the event.
Reducing tariffs and regulatory barriers, for instance, are two things the partnership seeks to achieve, he said.
As an example, he said certain countries are wary of U.S. biotech products, including some agricultural products, because of misinformation, rather than a sound understanding of the respective science.
“It levels the playing field across all countries,” he said.
Other countries in that partnership also represent 40 percent of the world’s economy, Scuse added, and it could be completed within the next several months.
The Trans-Atlantic partnership is less likely to come together so soon, he said.
Agricultural exports nationally have increased from $85 billion in 1995 to $116 billion in 2009, according to USDA statistics.
Scuse said his trip to Delaware was simple: “We just wanted the agriculture leaders to understand where we are in the process of these agreements.”