Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack: Seize Trade Chance

Orlando Sentinel

We just don't want to cede, from a national security perspective, giving China that kind of control in that critical part of the world. Plus, if we can't get it done there, we're not going to be able to get [another free-trade agreement] done with the [European Union]. And the EU will basically circumvent the U.S., and we'll be isolated.

I understand progressives' concerns, I understand the tea party's concerns about this, but it would really, really be a serious mistake from my perspective, and certainly from American agriculture [not to approve trade promotion authority and pass the TPP]. We have over 70 agricultural groups that have said, hey, get this done … Let's get a good Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement reached, and let's start working on EU. … If there are issues involving currency or trade or whatever, there are ways to work through those … But to say no, and shut off U.S. opportunity in that part of the world, doesn't seem to me to be in the long-term best interest of the country.