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Farmers applaud Trump's agreement with Japan, but that's no better than Obama's TPP



But while US pork producers say they are happy with the deal that is still being finalized, it only gives them the same level of access to the Japanese market as they would have if Trump had never withdrawn from Obama – The Trans-Pacific Partnership era comes first.

"We're getting what we had under the TPP and we're not going to fall behind," says Nick Giordano, Vice President and Global Management Advisor at the National Council of Pork Producers.

Trump resigned from the TPP as one of his first acts as president, saying he instead wanted to negotiate bilateral deals, but 11 other countries continued with their introduction last January. This left US pork producers at higher tariffs than those in participating countries such as Australia, Canada, Mexico and Chile. In the meantime, the European Union has also signed a trade deal with Japan, which has reduced trade barriers to pork exports.

American pork producers rely on Japan as their largest market in value. They had already seen exports slip this year, but the new deal should put them on an even footing again.

American wheat producers who were also injured after Trump withdrew from the multinational trade partnership, have applauded the new deal with Japan.

"We are very happy that this agreement will put an end to the growing competitive advantage of the cost of Canadian and Australian wheat imports under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement," said President of the American Wheat Association Doug , an Ohio farmer, in a statement.

Trump and Abe intend to sign the agreement on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in mid-September.

However, the agreement with Japan will solve only one of the three major problems created by the Trump administration's trade policies for American agriculture.

"We almost had three fires with five alarms in the pig industry this year," Giordano said.

One was released in May when Trump, aiming to ease a zone of trade tension, raised tariffs on steel and aluminum coming from Canada and Mexico. Mexico, for its part, raised 20% of the penal tariffs it had placed on American pork.

But the trade war with China still poses problems and could worsen on Sunday if Washington and Beijing pursue their latest threats. In response to Trump's announcement that he will set new tariffs on $ 300 billion in Chinese goods from September 1

, the Chinese will also add tariffs and raise those that are already pork.

What is even more painful for pork producers is the concern that tariffs may cause them to miss grabbing more of the growing Chinese market. Demand there has accelerated because of an African swine fever that has killed some domestic pigs.

Trump's trade dispute with China has hurt farmers and ranches nationwide. China stopped buying soy, leaving a record number at the end of last year's harvest. Plus, the wet spring planting season meant that some farmers failed to get their soybeans or corn in the ground on time.

Farmers are also upset about how the Trump administration recently provided 31 small refusals to refineries for biofuels laws, arguing that this move will further reduce demand for corn and soybeans.

"There is a lot of uncertainty right now. We are the biggest cheerleaders in the US and China who smoke the pipe for peace," Giordano said.


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