U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) are expressing concern that a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that excludes the United States puts overseas demand for U.S. wheat at serious risk.
“On January 23, 2017, exactly one year ago, President Trump announced the United States would pull out of the TPP. The announcement today that the eleven remaining TPP members have concluded talks on a revised deal without us sends another discouraging signal to our long-time wheat importing customers in Japan,” said Ben Conner, USW Director of Policy.
Japan imports an average of 3.1 million metric tons of U.S. wheat every year. After full implementation of the new TPP, Japan’s import tariffs on Canadian and Australian wheat would drop by about $65 per ton.
“That would put U.S. wheat producers at a total price disadvantage of more than $200 million per year from TPP alone,” Conner said. “As the agricultural community warned when the President made the announcement, withdrawing from TPP was shortsighted and unnecessary, and now U.S. wheat farmers could take the hit.”
“As expected, the remaining members of TPP are moving forward without the United States,” said Gordon Stoner, NAWG President and a wheat grower from Outlook, Mont.
“If nothing else, this announcement should serve as a rallying cry for farmers, ranchers and dairy producers calling for the new trade deals we were promised when the President walked away from TPP. The heat needs to be turned up on the administration and on trade negotiations with Japan. An already stressed agriculture sector needs the benefit of free and fair trade now.”
The so-called TPP-11 countries include Canada and Australia, which are major competitors to the United States in the Japanese wheat market. Other TPP countries with rapidly growing demand for imported wheat include Mexico, Vietnam, Malaysia, Chile and Peru. Singapore, Brunei and New Zealand round out the remaining TPP partner countries.