trade concerns

Ag Reacts to Trump TPP Move

Taylor Hillman Trade

He said he would do it, and now President Trump has taken the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) may be next. Trump’s move is getting negative reactions from agriculture groups.

California Citrus Mutual President Joel Nelsen said the decision is “disappointing but not surprising. The President has been unapologetically opposed to TPP since early in his campaign, so it comes as no surprise that he has officially withdrawn the U.S. from the proposed trade agreement, despite its clear and obvious benefit to the California citrus industry and broader U.S. agricultural sector.”

The TPP included an immediate elimination of tariffs on citrus exports to Vietnam and a gradual reduction or elimination of tariffs to other Pacific Rim countries, including Japan, a leading importer of California citrus. The trade deal also established a structure for phytosanitary negotiations with Vietnam.

Calling for continued efforts to break down barriers to agricultural trade, the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) expressed disappointment today in President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the TPP trade agreement.

“Trade in food and farm products benefits both rural and urban areas of California,” CFBF President Paul Wenger said. “For example, farm products represent the top export from the Port of Oakland, and agreements such as the TPP would allow us to reach more potential customers in key Pacific Rim markets.”

Wenger said he hopes the administration will follow up with policies aimed at opening foreign markets for American farm products.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement: “We viewed TPP as a positive agreement for agriculture — one that would have added $4.4 billion annually to our struggling agriculture economy. With this decision, it is critical that the new administration begin work immediately to do all it can to develop new markets for U.S. agricultural goods and to protect and advance U.S. agricultural interests in the critical Asia-Pacific region.”

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Tracy Brunner issued a statement stating: “Fact is American cattle producers are already losing out on $400,000 in sales every day because we don’t have TPP, and since NAFTA was implemented, exports of American-produced beef to Mexico have grown by more than 750 percent. We’re especially concerned that the administration is taking these actions without any meaningful alternatives in place that would compensate for the tremendous loss that cattle producers will face without TPP or NAFTA.