Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Trump ponders return to TPP

Washington-President Trump says that he’s thinking about the US rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership in an effort to counteract China’s spreading influence among Pacific Rim nations.

Trump told National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to start working on a new trade pact that will includes Japan, Vietnam and nine other countries. Thats according to a Senator that met with Trump at the White House yesterday.

The American Farm Bureau Federation was predicting that tariff cuts and other measures in the TPP would net farmers an extra $4.4 billion annually. Japan, for example, had agreed to reduce tariffs and increase market access for U.S. beef, pork, wheat and other commodities.

“Putting it simply, joining TPP is the best way to avoid a potentially devastating loss of wheat sales to Japan,” said U.S. Wheat Associates Chairman Michael Miller in reaction to Trump's latest position. “If the United States joins TPP, U.S. wheat should be able to compete on a level playing field with Canadian and Australian wheat, which will soon have a major advantage once TPP is implemented.”

Rep. David Rouzer, R-N.C., who was also in the White House meeting, told Agri-Pulse that the trade pact came up when the conversation turned toward the best ways in which to open up foreign markets for U.S. agriculture and to counter China’s influence.

“We need to be exerting more influence in the area and trade is a way to do that,” Rouzer said. “We can’t acquiesce to China in the trade environment.”

The Trump administrations decision last year to pull the U.S. out of the trade pact with Japan, Australia, and 11 other nations benefited China according to trade experts.

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