Trump withdraws from TPP; goes to work on NAFTA

Meatingplace, By Rita Jane Gabbett on 1/23/2017

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday morning to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an expected move and evidence he is quickly making good on campaign promises regarding the new U.S. trade strategy.

“This strategy starts by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and making certain that any new trade deals are in the interests of American workers,” the administration posted in a statement on the White House website.

Next stop: NAFTA.

“President Trump is committed to renegotiating NAFTA. If our partners refuse a renegotiation that gives American workers a fair deal, then the President will give notice of the United States’ intent to withdraw from NAFTA… With tough and fair agreements, international trade can be used to grow our economy, return millions of jobs to America’s shores, and revitalize our nation’s suffering communities,” the statement continued.

Trump told reporters on Sunday he has been in touch with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto since taking office and will hold separate meetings with both leaders soon, according to Politico, which quoted a White House Spokesman as saying Trump would meet with Pena Nieto on Jan. 31.

Meat industry organizations including the North American Meat Institute, the National Pork Producers Council, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the U.S. Meat Export Federation pushed hard for TPP passage before and after the election in November. Asia is seen as a growth market for their products and competitors, including Australia, have already entered trade agreements there that could hurt future U.S. meat exports.

Regarding NAFTA, Mexico and Canada are two of the U.S. meat industry’s largest trading partners.

“TPP and NAFTA have long been convenient political punching bags, but the reality is that foreign trade has been one of the greatest success stories in the long history of the U.S. beef industry,” said NCBA President Tracy Brunner. “Fact is American cattle producers are already losing out on $400,000 in sales every day because we don’t have TPP, and since NAFTA was implemented, exports of American-produced beef to Mexico have grown by more than 750 percent. We’re especially concerned that the Administration is taking these actions without any meaningful alternatives in place that would compensate for the tremendous loss that cattle producers will face without TPP or NAFTA.”

“The Trump Administration has made clear its concerns about the Trans Pacific Partnership as it announced its decision to withdraw from the TPP in favor of bilateral agreements with nations,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter. “We value our trade relationships with Asia and we look forward to discussing paths to access these markets so we may expand our industry and ensure both job and economic growth at home.”

Enforcing existing agreements

The White House website also promised to crack down on enforcing existing trade agreements.

“In addition to rejecting and reworking failed trade deals, the United States will crack down on those nations that violate trade agreements and harm American workers in the process,” the White House stated. “The President will direct the Commerce Secretary to identify all trade violations and to use every tool at the federal government’s disposal to end these abuses.”