Ag Policy Blog

Trump's TPP Decision Dramatically Changes U.S. Role in Trade

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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The statement after statement from agricultural groups on Monday expressed varying levels of disappointment over President Donald Trump's dismissal of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

While U.S. farmers have expanded production in crops, dairy and meat, the president's decision reflects there may be few opportunities to expand markets anytime soon.

Phil Seng, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, said USMEF remains fully committed to U.S. trading partners in TPP and NAFTA. Seng noted these countries account for more than 60% of U.S. red meat exports.

"In some of these key markets, the U.S. red meat industry will remain at a serious competitive disadvantage unless meaningful market access gains are realized," Seng said. "We urge the new administration to utilize all means available to return the United States to a competitive position, so that our industry can continue to serve this important international customer base and further expand our export opportunities."

The U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) stated that the two groups recognize Trump's decision "was inevitable." The groups noted, "however, that until an alternative trade policy is established, export opportunities in the promising Pacific Rim markets that could help U.S. wheat farmers at a time when they need it most are very much at risk."

Beyond the disappointment in agriculture, others highlighted that the president's decision on TPP will dramatically change the U.S. role in global trade.

"President Trump’s cancellation Monday of an agreement for a sweeping trade deal with Asia began recasting America’s role in the global economy, leaving an opening for other countries to flex their muscles," stated the Washington Post in an article Monday.

The Post article added: Pulling out of the deal “raises fundamental questions about American reliability,” said Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. “It leaves our allies and trading partners in the lurch. It does create strategic opportunities for China.”…

The New York Times wrote: Although the Trans-Pacific Partnership had not been approved by Congress, Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw not only doomed former President Barack Obama’s signature trade achievement, but also carried broad geopolitical implications in a fast-growing region. The deal, which was to link a dozen nations from Canada and Chile to Australia and Japan in a complex web of trade rules, was sold as a way to permanently tie the United States to East Asia and create an economic bulwark against a rising China.

Instead, Mr. Trump said American workers would be protected against competition from low-wage countries like Vietnam and Malaysia, also parties to the deal.

The Times added: Mr. Trump’s decision to scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or T.P.P., reversed a free-trade strategy adopted by presidents of both parties dating back to the Cold War, and aligned him more with the political left. When he told a meeting of union leaders at the White House on Monday that he had just terminated the pact, they broke into applause.…

Japanese officials indicated they might try to eventually bring Trump back around TPP.…

Meanwhile, Australia turned to China to potentially join TPP,…


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1/25/2017 | 1:41 PM CST
If they are hungry, they will buy it. If they are not hungry, they won't. As always in history, if a nations people are hungry, there will be serious civil implications.
1/25/2017 | 7:55 AM CST
This is big win for china now that we're out they going to ask them to join we will lose out of the Asia markets
1/25/2017 | 7:04 AM CST
So how did we ever live before?
Jay Mcginnis
1/24/2017 | 12:21 PM CST
I don't understand the surprise, it was all obvious during the election, it's what the most of rural America wanted as they put him there, they agreed to pay the price.
1/24/2017 | 8:00 AM CST
Congrats to Sam Clovis and the Trump Ag Advisory Team. They have succeeded in not only putting ethanol and RFS at risk but also the 50% of our customers we use to call trading partners. At least when the bank gets our farm they won't have to worry about WOTUS. Don Halcomb