”(A) great thing for the American worker:” Trump
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
During his campaign to become President, Donald Trump made clear his intention to remove the United States from the 12-nation trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
And three days into his presidency, Trump signed an executive order to remove America from the trading block.
“(A) great thing for the American worker, what we just did,” Trump said after signing the order and showing it to reporters.
Many American farmers and farm groups favored the TPP because it could provide expanded market access. But with the country on its way out of the agreement, concern appears to be setting in.
“Trade is something soybean farmers take very seriously,” Ron Moore, president of the American Soybean Association, said in a release. “We export more than half the soy we grow here in the United States, and still more in the form of meat and other products that are produced with our meal and oil,” said Moore, who farms in Roseville, Ill. “The TPP held great promise for us, and has been a key priority for several years now. We’re very disappointed to see the withdrawal today.”
Moore added the organization expects to see a plan to engage with other TPP nations. And a seat at the table to ensure agreements benefit soybean farmers.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) released a statement of its own, saying the pressure is on the new government to find other trading partners for America’s farmers.
“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,” Zippy Duvall, AFBF president, said in the release. “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.”
But David Smasne, a producer from Roosevelt, Washington, agrees with the President’s decision.
“When every last American has a job, then, and only then, we should open (trade) to a limited number of countries,” he said.