Farm bureau says trade withdrawal leaves gap

Withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be very detrimental to America's farms unless the United States comes up with a way to replace what is lost, the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation said recently.

“While President Trump signed an executive order today 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," Zippy Duvall said. "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."

Duvall said that talk of withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement also prompts concerns, and such a move must be evaluated in the same way, because losing that kind of partnership can reverberate deeply across the U.S. agricultural landscape.

“American agriculture is virtually always a winner when trade agreements remove barriers to U.S. crop and livestock exports because we impose very few compared to other nations," he said. "We have much to gain through strong trade agreements. 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."

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Montana Farm Bureau

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