The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal has become a political football that both the candidates from major political parties say they oppose.

But the TPP has the support from President Obama, and the White House says Obama plans to make a forceful case for the 12-nation trade pact when he heads to Asia this week for the G20 summit — the meeting of the world’s largest economic powers.

The TPP trade deal is supported by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and NCBA’s president Tracy Brunner told ranchers attending a Kansas Livestock Association field day that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is the “trade opportunity of today” for the beef industry. If approved by Congress, TPP would reduce tariffs on U.S. beef exported to Japan from 38.5% today to 9% over 16 years. This would level the playing field with Australian producers, who currently enjoy an advantage of 10 percentage points over the U.S. on beef exports to Japan.

Brunner said, “It will lay the groundwork for demand that will support the next generation of beef producers.”

Brunner, who feeds cattle and ranches near Ramona, Kan.,  said passage of TPP is the top priority for NCBA. He believes there will be an opportunity for a vote in Congress before the end of the year, despite election year politics complicating the prospects for passage. 

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