Ag industry hopes for other trade deals beyond TPP

Donald Trump continues to oppose TPP
Donald Trump continues to oppose TPP

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Last night, Donald Trump sent out a video that outlined his legislative agenda for his first 100 days in office, but it also included a list of executive actions that are to be taken on day one of the Trump administration.

One of those executive actions was to get out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Some Kansas farmers hoped TPP would pass but now they’re looking at other options for trade.

“Well the TPP represents 40 percent of the global GDP,” said KSN’s agriculture expert John Jenkinson, “so with that, we could certainly open up many, many markets.”

Those new markets mean new customers that can purchase the excess grain from Kansas farmers, but the incoming administration is staunchly opposed to the deal, ending any hope it will be passed by congress in the lame duck session.

“The leadership doesn’t want to do something that clearly president elect Donald Trump has expressed a dissatisfaction with,” said Richard Wilkins with the American Soybean Association.

Now, the ag industry can only hope to convince the new administration that trade deals would benefit many farmers

“Certainly we intend to remind him that it was rural America,” said Wilkins, “including the agriculturalists, that helped to get him elected.”

If there is no future role for America in the TPP, experts hope that the new administration would consider some bilateral trade agreements.

“It could be that the US trade representative and his staff may be able to go out and strike some individual deals that would help make up for part of what we will miss out with the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Jenkinson.

But that all depends on the will of the new president and whoever become the next US Trade Representative.

Many prominent Kansans have the president-elect’s ear on ag issues. During the campaign, Donald Trump’s agricultural advisors included Kansas governor Sam Brownback and Senator Pat Roberts, and Congressman Tim Huelskamp says he is currently under consideration for Ag Secretary.