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Agribiz: Trans Pacific Partnership expansion opens trade opportunities for poultry
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Expanded trade opportunities have opened up for many U.S. industries, including the poultry industry in Georgia.

Earlier this month, a coalition of 54 U.S. food and agricultural organizations sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging the U.S. and other Trans Pacific Partnership members to welcome Japan as a full member as soon as possible.

Acting U.S. trade representative Demetrios Marantis lauded the unanimous decision from the 11 member countries to let Japan participate in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks. He said that this will create a bigger market for American exports and generate domestic employment as well.

He emphasized that the current roster of the TPP was already robust, but with the addition of Japan, the third-largest economy in the world, it adds even better opportunities for each member country. Japan now joins Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam in the next round of the TPP talks, which will be held in July.

Canada was the only country that was still opposing Japan’s inclusion but eventually gave its thumbs-up with Trade Minister Ed Fast saying that “having Japan at the table is going to add additional value to all of the TPP partners.” Japan’s entry into the TPP means almost 40 percent of the global economy is involved in the talks, making it the biggest free-trade agreement in the world.

Marantis also praised the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers’ meeting in Indonesia, which concluded last Sunday, as another positive step for economic integration in the region. The meeting was held in preparation for the APEC Summit in October, which will also be held in Indonesia.

A statement from the APEC trade ministers urges the World Trade Organization members to “change the quality and level of engagement in order to expeditiously and effectively advance our work.”

Pesticide recertification class set for May 24

Certified pesticide applicators need recertification training and continuing education credits to maintain their licenses.

The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in Hall County is planning a pesticide applicator recertification class for May in Gainesville.

The class will be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 24 at Lanier Technical College.

The class costs $45 for those who register by the early deadline. The registration fee rises to $55 after May 16.

Certified applicators can earn five hours of Georgia Commercial Pesticide Credit in categories 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 and 41 for attending each class. Private applicators can earn up to two credit hours.

Experts from UGA Extension and the Georgia Department of Agriculture will teach the classes. The Hall County office of UGA Extension is sponsoring the recertification training session.

For a complete schedule or to register online, visit www.ugagriffincontinuinged.com. For more information, call 770-229-3477 or email conteduc@uga.edu.

Michael Wheeler is county extension coordinator for the UGA Cooperative Extension in Hall County. You can contact him at 770-535-8293, www.hallcounty.org/extension. His column appears biweekly on Thursday’s Business page and at gainesvilletimes.com.