President-elect Trump nixes TPP

by Jay Sjerven
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Donald Trump
Says he plans to scrap plans for U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership on his first day in office.
 
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — President-elect Donald J. Trump in a video posted on YouTube on Nov. 21 said on his first day in office he would scrap plans for U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement negotiated over seven years by the Obama administration with the governments of 11 other Pacific nations.

Trump said in the video, “I am going to issue our notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country. Instead, we will negotiate fair bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores.”

The TPP aimed to lower barriers to trade in goods and services among 12 Pacific nations, including the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The TPP enjoyed broad support in the agriculture and agribusiness communities. Several food industry organizations had voiced hope Congress would approve the trade agreement during the lame duck session. As recently as Nov. 17, U.S. Wheat Associates urged the congressional leadership to allow a vote on TPP.

“The high standards in the TPP agreement should help us be more competitive and hopefully lead to even more opportunity for our wheat as new countries join T.P.P. in the future,” said USW chairman Jason Scott, a wheat farmer from Easton, Maryland, U.S. “The Obama administration has taken strong actions that show trade agreements, when enforced, work for agriculture. At such a critical time, America’s farmers and ranchers need this agreement as a platform for expanding global markets for years to come.”

The American Soybean Association also urged lawmakers to act in the remaining days of the 114th Congress.

“Farmers support the improved access to foreign markets through TPP, and welcome the potential for expanded soybean exports in the forms of oil and feed,” said Richard Wilkins, ASA president and a farmer from Greenwood, Delaware, U.S., in a statement issued Nov. 9. “Overall, TPP has the power to create jobs at home, boost the farm economy and explore foreign markets.”

Trump’s Nov. 21 statement seemed to squash hopes Congress would try to save the agreement.
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