Trump's first official act was to withdraw from the TPP, saying that it wasn't a good deal for Americans and that he prefers bilateral trade agreements. His comment at Davos didn't get much press because he didn't follow up, and "There's another reason to wonder how serious Trump is," Urban Lehner writes for DTN/The Progressive Farmer. "Interest groups, including the farm lobby, have been complaining about the administration's failure to replace TPP with a Japan bilateral. A cynic might wonder if having failed to convince the Japanese to negotiate bilaterally, the president dangles the possibility of re-entering TPP to keep the interest groups at bay."
Whether that's true or not, it's clear American farm groups are getting more nervous. The day the new TPP accord was announced, the Asia-Pacific Working Group, which represents more than 95 percent of the American farming, ranching and food processing sector, sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in support of the U.S. rejoining the TPP, Lehner reports. The Asia-Pacific Working Group is a part of the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade.
The new pact would be a "disaster for farmers" in the U.S., says Glen Squires, CEO of the Washington Grain Commission, costing American wheat farmers $3 billion over the next 10 years. Japan is the biggest international customer for U.S. wheat, but wheat from Australia and Canada would be much cheaper under the new pact. U.S. Wheat Associates estimates that Japanese imports of U.S. wheat would fall by 2.5 million bushels annually, KREM-TV reports.