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95 percent of U.S farmers: Trump should re-engage with TPP countries

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Staff Writer |
American farmer
Trade bloc   Trump pulled the U.S. out of the TPP

A powerful bloc of American farmers and food producers is turning up pressure on U.S. President Donald Trump to re-engage with New Zealand and other Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries so they are not left in a substantial trade disadvantage.

The U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade, representing 95 percent of the U.S. farming, ranching and food processing sector, painted a gloomy picture if they are left out of trade deals.

Trump pulled the U.S. out of the TPP just three days after moving into the White House last year, but New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada and the remaining seven Pacific Rim nations pushed ahead with the TPP and are expected to sign the agreement in March.

"Once this happens, our sector will be placed at a substantial disadvantage, as other countries gain entry into these markets at substantially lower tariffs and under preferential terms," the group wrote in the letter.

"Given the downturn in U.S. farm prices and profitability that already is hurting rural America, the timing could not be worse.

"American food and agricultural producers and companies are facing significant barriers in these markets that could be addressed within the improved rules and higher standards through reengagement with the TPP countries."

The group added it would "welcome sharing our specific ideas and supporting your administration's efforts for reengaging with TPP countries in a manner that results in concrete gains for the United States".

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