Free trade agreements such as the pending Trans Pacific Partnership are controversial. Political candidates on both sides of the aisle have criticized the TPP as a bad deal that will hurt American workers. But many farmers and ranchers in the Midwest say they are in favor of the trade pact. Cattle ranchers, like Mike John of Huntsville, Missouri, say the TPP will help them remain competitive in an increasingly crowded world market.
Free trade agreements remove tariffs on imported products but also on goods the U.S. exports to other countries. Supporters say that opens the door to get more beef, soybeans and rice into other countries at more competitive prices.
Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Harvest covers agriculture-related topics through a network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.