Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Trump's pullout from Trans-Pacific Partnership does a double hit on American farmers and processors

Ron Prestage was going to build a pork processing plant.
(Politico photo by M. Scott Mahaskey)
A Politico story takes an in-depth look at how President Trump's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership has affected rural America. The upshot: It's not great. Because the U.S. withdrew from the 11-nation pact, rival exporters such as Australia, New Zealand and the European Union are negotiating lower tariffs with importing nations. That could undercut U.S. exporters and lower the prices they get for goods. And China, which was never part of the TPP, is taking advantage of the situation to try to take the U.S.'s place as the region's trade kingpin.

Pulling out of the trade agreement doubly hits places like Eagle Grove, Iowa, where voters went 2-for-1 for President Trump. A new meat-processing plant was supposed to provide a $10 billion bump to the local economy over 15 years, but the withdrawal from the TPP means that bump won't materialize. And the resulting negotiations by other exporter countries means they will face more competition for their meat.

"For much of industrial America, the TPP was a suspect deal, the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement, which some argue led to a massive offshoring of U.S. jobs to Mexico. But for the already struggling agricultural sector, the sprawling 12-nation TPP, covering 40 percent of the world’s economy, was a lifeline. It was a chance to erase punishing tariffs that restricted the United States—the onetime “breadbasket of the world”—from selling its meats, grains and dairy products to massive importers of foodstuffs such as Japan and Vietnam," Adam Behsudi reports.

The industries affected by ongoing trade negotiations are wide-ranging, but the Politico article has a great breakdown.

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