Two regional trade pacts, namely the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), have gathered momentum recently, with TPP poised to begin its final negotiation stretch in 2015. This is likely to turn the heat on Congress to take action with ratification, making export-focused agriculture a clear winner in that scenario.
In the absence of global trade talks, the United States and other countries have looked at regional trade agreements to boost exports. The last successful multilateral trade agreement was the Uruguay round agreement of 1993 under the World Trade Organization. The global pact was centered on a 36 percent tariff reduction over six years and, for the first time, covered a large swath of agricultural products. The next negotiation round known as the Doha round — named after the capital city of Qatar where talks were launched in 2001 — was a major letdown and failed to maintain momentum for further trade libe