Mixed Response from Agriculture as President Trump Withdraws from Trans-Pacific Partnership

US - US President Donald Trump has signed an executive action to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. The move by Mr Trump has been met with mixed reactions.
calendar icon 25 January 2017
clock icon 4 minute read

The action to withdraw from the TPP ushers in a new era of US trade policy in which the Trump Administration will pursue bilateral free trade opportunities with allies around the world, wherever possible, to promote American industry, protect American workers, and raise American wages.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) applauded the President's decision to withdraw the US from, what it calls, a deeply flawed TPP trade agreement.

NFU President Roger Johnson commented: “The Trans-Pacific Partnership was a continuance of our nation’s deeply flawed trade agenda, and we’re pleased that the Trump Administration has decided to formally withdraw the US from the pact to prioritise a fair trade agenda.

The NFU alleged that free trade policies had lost jobs and lowered wages in rural communities across America, but added that the new administration should look to refocus the trade agenda "with a level of tact that does not motivate our trade partners to take retaliatory actions".

However, other agricultural organisations have expressed concern over the withdrawal.

The American Feed Industry Association said it is extremely disappointed with President Trump's executive action.

"TPP, and agreements like it, are key to setting the terms and rules for future trade relationships, creating higher standards and expectations than previous trade deals. While the US economy generally deals with a trade deficit, agriculture is the one segment where our country enjoys a strong trade surplus," said AFIA President and CEO Joel G. Newman.

The AFIA went on to explain that US agriculture exports, including commercial feed, are increasing despite a global slowdown in overall trade. Trade agreements, such as TPP, allow US producers to exploit growing overseas demand, the organisation said.

"Without TPP, the US feed industry will lose more than the opportunities provided by tariff reductions. We will lose the opportunity to facilitate new trade relationships by addressing larger sanitary and phytosanitary issues, environmental protections, domestic job creation and regulatory cooperation, said Mr Newman."

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall also issued a similar response.

“While President Trump signed an executive order today withdrawing our nation from the Trans- Pacific Partnership, 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 US agricultural goods and to protect and advance US agricultural interests in the critical Asia-Pacific region," said Mr Duvall.

The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO, Philip M. Seng issued the following statement in response to Mr Trump's action: "The USMEF remains fully committed to our valued trading partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These countries account for more than 60 per cent of US red meat exports.

"In some of these key markets, the US red meat industry will remain at a serious competitive disadvantage unless meaningful market access gains are realised. We urge the new administration to utilise all means available to return the United States to a competitive position."

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