Jan 24, 2017Industry groups react to TPP withdrawal
President Trump has withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and negotiations. Industry groups have since released statements regarding the withdrawal. Read their statements below.
Zippy Duvall, president, American Farm Bureau Federation:
“While President Trump signed an executive order withdrawing our nation from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we viewed TPP as a positive agreement for agriculture – one that would have added $4.4 billion annually to our struggling agriculture economy. With this decision, it is critical that the new administration begin work immediately to do all it can to develop new markets for U.S. agricultural goods and to protect and advance U.S. agricultural interests in the critical Asia-Pacific region.
“AFBF pledges to work with the administration to help ensure that American agriculture can compete on a level playing field in markets around the world. But we need the administration’s commitment to ensuring we do not lose the ground gained – whether in the Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe or other parts of the world.
“This is why we believe it is also important to re-emphasize the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico that have been beneficial for American agriculture. Any renegotiation of NAFTA must recognize the gains achieved by American agriculture and assure that U.S. ag trade with Canada and Mexico remains strong. AFBF will work with the administration to remove remaining barriers that hamstring the ability of America’s farmers and ranchers to benefit from trading relationships with our important North American trading partners.”
Tom Stenzel, president & CEO, United Fresh Produce Association:
“We were not surprised that President Trump has officially withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact. As we know, Congress was not likely to confirm the agreement in any case. But now is the time to move past anti-trade rhetoric and begin the process of building consensus for the key portions of the agreement that had been negotiated in the TPP. Both U.S. agriculture and U.S. consumers benefit from trade, and exports to the Asian Pacific countries are a critical opportunity for U.S. producers. Beyond that, the TPP was the first major agreement that began to build strong rules for countries to prevent putting up protectionist measures in the form of sanitary and phytosanitary barriers. Without this agreement, we fall back to an environment where countries can simply choose to block imports without scientific justification.
“We encourage President Trump and his new administration not just to withdraw from trade agreements, but to come to the table to renegotiate agricultural agreements as soon as possible. Our potential trading partners won’t sit idly by, but will find other partners and leave the United States behind. Most importantly, America deserves real trade agreements that benefit both consumers and producers.”
Paul Wenger, president, California Farm Bureau:
“Trade in food and farm products benefits both rural and urban areas of California. For example, farm products represent the top export from the Port of Oakland, and agreements such as the TPP would allow us to reach more potential customers in key Pacific Rim markets.
“We will encourage the administration to work on smaller-scale agreements that would allow American farmers to trade with other nations on an equal basis.”
Wenger noted the administration has also discussed reopening the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.
“If NAFTA is reopened, its agricultural provisions should be left alone,” he said. “We don’t want successful agricultural trade to be caught in any conflict about other portions of the agreement.”
Roger Johnson, president, National Farmers Union:
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership was a continuance of our nation’s deeply flawed trade agenda, and we’re pleased that the Trump Administration has decided to formally withdraw the U.S. from the pact to prioritize a fair trade agenda.
“For too long, our nation’s trade negotiators have prioritized a free trade over fair trade agenda, leading to a massive $531 billion trade deficit, lost jobs and lowered wages in rural communities across America. It’s time our country refocuses the trade agenda to prioritize balanced trade, U.S. sovereignty, and U.S. family farmers, ranchers and rural communities. The Trump Administration should look to do so with a level of tact that does not motivate our trade partners to take retaliatory actions or threaten the integrity of positive trade markets that American agriculture relies upon.
“NFU looks forward to working with the new administration and Congress to promote fair trade solutions that work for family farmers and ranchers and the U.S. economy.”
Richard Gubert Jr., president, Illinois Farm Bureau:
“Illinois agriculture depends on free trade agreements to sell our products. Currently, 46 percent of Illinois exports go to Trans-Pacific countries. The TPP was expected to increase Illinois’ cash receipts and net exports by $281.1 million and $127.4 million per year respectively. It is estimated that the increased marketing opportunities for Illinois farmers would have added more than 960 jobs to the Illinois economy.
“President Trump’s executive order to withdraw the United States from the TPP is another setback to an already struggling economy. With TPP being halted, we implore the administration to start working toward opening new markets for Illinois crop and livestock farmers.
“Illinois agriculture also has benefited from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). We hope the administration will recognize the importance of NAFTA to Illinois farmers’ income when renegotiating the deal. We look forward to working with our members of Congress and the administration to send the message that trade deals create opportunities for consumers and farmers.”