President Trump Reverses Stance on Trans-Pacific Partnership
WASHINGTON, DC - President Donald Trump may be preparing to jump back into the agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multilateral trade deal that could affect the U.S.’s dealings with countries such as China and Japan. Trump originally withdrew from the deal just days after assuming the presidency, citing that TPP did not represent the American people and their financial well-being.
According to a report from The New York Times, the president decided to reconsider his orignal stance after hearing complaints from Republican lawmakers who said farmers and other businesses in their states would suffer from his international trade approach.
Senator Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa, described her meetings with the president as “productive” and said that she had urged him to re-engage in discussions with countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, having explained, “Iowa farmers aren’t looking for another subsidy program; rather they want new and improved market access.”
Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, added, according to the source, “The best thing the United States can do to push back against Chinese cheating now is to lead the other 11 Pacific nations that believe in free trade and the rule of law. It is good news that today the president directed [Director of the National Economic Council] Larry Kudlow and Ambassador Lighthizer to negotiate U.S. entry into TPP.”
However promising this may sound to American farmers, including those in the produce industry who do dealings internationally, it appears Trump has not quite made up his mind. In a Twitter post made last night, the president stated he would consider re-entering the agreement only if it were “substantially better” than the deal offered to President Barack Obama. He continued, “We already have BILATERAL deals with six of the eleven nations in TPP and are working to make a deal with the biggest of those nations, Japan, who has hit us hard on trade for years!”
As explained by The New York Times, the deal, which was negotiated by the Obama administration, was "intended as a tool to prod China" into making changes in its economic policy that would be in the best interests of the United States and other countries. Some economists argue that the best way to combat China’s rising economic stature is to create favorable trading terms through multilateral trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Rejoining does not look to be simple, however. Countries that remained in the deal such as Japan have already spent several months renegotiating a pact, The New York Times explained, and finally agreed to a sweeping multinational deal just earlier this year. Trump, who seems to be looking for further concessions in the deal, would likely add additional complications to the talks and delay a deal even further.
AndNowUKnow will continue to watch TPP negotiations as the move forward, so stay tuned for the latest on what American produce companies can expect going forward.