In his first Monday in office, President Donald Trump is addressing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by signing an executive order to bow out of negotiations on the trade deal.
The TPP was designed to be a trade agreement between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim countries, representing 40% of the global economy and some of the fastest-growing regions in the world.
Trump's decision to address TPP was reported this morning by severeal consumer news outlets, including CNN, Fox News and USA Today.
Trump had vowed during the presidential campaign that he would prevent the U.S. from participating in TPP, as he viewed it as being a harmful agreement for American workers and manufacturers.
The agriculture industry has been split on its views of TPP. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) has been a vocal proponent of the agreement.
Chip Bowling, president of the NCGA and a farmer from Newburg, Md., addressed the topic numerous times in 2016. In an NCGA press release distributed last fall, he said, “America’s farmers and ranchers need Congress to step up and pass TPP now. At a time when the farm economy is struggling, exports represent a rare bright spot for American agriculture. America’s farmers and ranchers stand ready to share our bounty and meet the challenge of feeding and fueling a growing world. But we can’t do that without trade agreements like TPP.”
Other organizations that supported the TPP include the American Farm Bureau, American Soybean Association, National Pork Producers Council and National Association of Wheat Growers.
Not everyone was onboard with the trade agreement, however. The National Farmers Union (NFU), Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) and the Red River Sugarbeet Growers Association (RRSGA) were opposed. Last October, the RRSGA executive director, Duane Maatz, told Tyne Morgan, Host of the U. S. Farm Report, the association viewed the TPP as a "double-edged sword for certain commodites."
“We're not exporting any sugar,” Maatz said. “So for us, we would just assume temper all of these agreements, and if you want to trade something with someone else, that's fine, but you could leave us out and we'd be happy with that.”
Today, it appears the Red River Sugarbeet Growers Association and other opposing members of the agricultural community are likely to get their wish.