President Trump held an agricultural round table with members of Congress and Governors and according to several Republican Senators who attended the meeting, it looks like the President may be reversing his position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. The President instructed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow to begin negotiating for the United States to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The United States entered the TPP negotiations in 2008. President Trump, in one of his first actions after being sworn into office signed an Executive Order, on January 23, 2017, to withdrawal from TPP. The 11 remaining countries in the TPP deal signed an agreement on March 8 of this year in Santiago, Chile. The pact includes Mexico and Canada which are renegotiating with the United States the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates were pleased with the news that the United States may join the Trans Pacific Partnership.
“Putting it simply, joining TPP is the best way to avoid a potentially devastating loss of wheat sales to Japan,” said USW Chairman Michael Miller, a wheat farmer from Ritzville, Wash. “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. That would keep U.S. wheat sales that currently represent 50 percent of Japan’s total wheat imports competitive in this crucial market.”
“It is very encouraging that the President is taking this step,” said NAWG President Jimmie Musick, a wheat grower from Sentinel, Okla. “If we can find a way to join this trade agreement, it will go a long way toward helping protect the incomes of every American wheat farmer. We also want to thank the members of Congress who pushed very hard to see this opening.”
Both organizations says they look forward to working with the Administration to provide any information and support it needs to achieve a successful negotiation that brings the United States back into the agreement.
Sources: Reuters, National Association of Wheat Growers, U.S. Wheat Associates