Home | About | Donate

Selling TPP as the Farm Economy Drops off a Cliff


Selling TPP as the Farm Economy Drops off a Cliff

Ben Lilliston

The farm economy is beyond struggling. Farm income was 50 percent lower in 2015 than in 2013 and is expected to drop further in 2016, reports the USDA. Prices for commodity crops, livestock and poultry are tumbling. Farmland prices are declining.


The following could not be repeated often enough:

“When Ray and Schaffer mention the structure of U.S. agriculture, they are referring to the tight control of the sector held by a small handful of mostly global corporations. In the U.S., the largest beef company (JBS) and the biggest pork producer (Smithfield-Shuanghui) are not U.S. corporations but are based in Brazil and China respectively. There is little doubt that the global agribusiness companies pushing so hard for TPP, like Cargill, Tyson’s, ADM, Monsanto and others will gain from the agreement.”

“U.S. interests” is a great sounding meme for patriotic Americans; but these purported U.S. interests turn out to be the same handfuls of corporations that take advantage of persons everywhere, reduce wages, destroy regulatory agencies’ capacity to check product quality, and concentrate wealth into fewer and fewer hands while spreading job insecurity around.

And this:

“As economist Dani Rodrik writes, “today’s world economy is the product of explicit decisions that governments have made in the past.” This is most certainly true for the struggling U.S. farm economy today."

Excellent article!


Another form of manure farmers are intimately acquainted with


The media pulls out the “Murkin farmer” card whenever they want to distract us from a swindle in progress.

In the run up to the Washington State caucus, today NPR station KUOW grilled Jane Sanders (Bernie’s wife) on TPP, asking how Bernie could be against reduced tariffs for cherry farmers.


I am curious as to how it is that literally millions of individual FARMERS have been forced off their land and flood to cities or to the USA so as to find jobs in Countries like Mexico and those Central America if this deal in any way shape or form benefitted farmers in those countries.

It is subsidized corn and cotton paid out to US farmers that forces these small farmers into penury.

This begs the question. When the US farmer produces an excess of food for export , where is the market for that food and how many farm livelihoods does it destroy in those countries?


It seriously amazes me that the US farm sector is “struggling” yet under NAFTA cheap US farm produce destroyed Mexico’s own farm sector. This sort of event has happened to other countries as locals cannot compete for market share against what must be dumped goods from the USA. Does it mean the subsidies only go to the selling of the goods as opposed to the farmers growing them? Or both?
Whatever it very damaging to other nations own production and the consequences are, say with Mexico a large migration into the USA to look for work no longer viable in Mexico.
A sort of production colonialism.


As a farmer, the only issue I have with this article is the hysteria of today’s low farm prices. Yes, prices of grain, for instance, have dropped a great deal from the tremendous highs of a couple years ago. That is really not a bad thing.