The benefit this will provide farmers will be negligible, and seems more targeted at real estate development interests.
And won't do nearly enough to offset the harm Trump did to farmers by pulling out of the Trans Pacific Partnershipl.
On December 30, some of the TPP went into effect in several of the 11 remaining TPP signatory countries, and as Quartz outlined recently, US farmers are going to be at a competitive disadvantage:
American meat producers stood to gain a hefty tariff cut the first day of the agreement, from 38.5% to 27.5% on certain beef products, and eventually down to 9% by the 16th year of the deal. US-produced pork, too, would have become immediately cheaper. Japan would have lowered its tariff to 2.2% from 4.3% at the start, and gradually reduced that to zero.
By 2026, the year by which TPP would have been fully implemented, exports of beef and pork had been expected to grow by nearly $2 billion, according to a study by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Billions worth of gains
A separate assessment, done by the US International Trade Commission by congressional mandate, estimated overall agricultural exports would jump by nearly 3%, or $7.2, billion by 2032 under TPP. (Imports into the US were expected to expand by 1.5%, or $2.7 billion.)
The TPP gains were expected to spill over into the whole agriculture sector, increasing production by an estimated $10 billion by that year.
Whole countries of customers
Abandoning TPP doesn’t just leave all those potential gains on the table; it threatens to eat into US farmers’ current business, they say.
Take wheat as an example. The only Japanese importer of the grain is the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, which resells it at a hefty markup. (Other importers are subject to prohibitive tariffs.)
As soon as CPTPP goes into effect, the ministry will slash its markup for wheat from member countries by 7%, according to US Wheat Associates, a trade group that promotes wheat exporters. It will go down by another 5% in April, when the second round of Japanese cuts kicks in.
That will make Canadian and Australian wheat $14 cheaper per metric ton than American wheat, according to the group. And that difference will only grow larger as CPTPP benefits are phased in. By 2020, US wheat will cost $70 per ton more than its competitors.
If the US doesn’t do anything, the group’s president, Vince Peterson, told the Office of the US Trade Representative during a public hearing earlier this month, the market for American wheat will be gone well before then."
The entire article is here: US farmers are bracing to lose as CPTPP rolls out
Reuters also weighed in: Pacific trade pact takes off with tariffs cut in six nations
And from the Land Down Under: US farmers 'helpless' as TPP boosts Australia
The TPP was the first international trade agreement that included enforceable standards for labor rights, human rights and environmental protections.
People normally think of trade deals as only benefiting the economic elite by lowering trade barriers and facilitating the movement of factories and jobs to low-wage nations with little to nonexistent regulations, but the TPP had the potential to break that stalemate and the race to the bottom.
Under the TPP, we got Canada and Mexico to renegotiate NAFTA in exchange for increased access to the Asia-Pacific Rim, the fastest-growing region in the world.
Under the TPP, we persuaded protectionist economies to open up their agricultural, automotive, professional services, and financial sectors to foreign competition in order to provide American workers and exporters a level playing field; and
Under the TPP, we convinced moderately authoritarian regimes to agree to liberalize their societies and “globalize” human and labor rights by outlawing human trafficking, cracking down on forced and child labor and other human rights violations, by raising environmental and labor standards; and by allowing labor unions and a free, open and unrestricted Internet — in exchange for favorable trade conditions with us.
Some activists condemned the TPP as a blueprint for a corporate dictatorship. But the rest of the world did not see it that way. Given the above mentioned features, they saw the TPP as a piece of masterful diplomacy that would strengthen the US position -- both economically as well as strategically -- as well as counter China's rise.
And it's the strategic value of TPP in strengthening our ties with allies and partners that was noted by former Secretary of State Tillerson and former Defense Secretary Mattis.
But instead of enacting TPP and pocketing those gains, Trump tossed it without holding any hearings. And don't think that move went unnoticed. To the Asia-Pacific region all of our previous commitments to those countries —trade as well as military — are now in doubt, and some players and adversaries in the region are becoming emboldened and more adventurous now that we have ceded ground.
And now here we are, facing a restive and anxious set of allies who are uncertain of our other commitments to them. The American farmers whose export markets are now in doubt either because of the trade war, tariffs, or, in this case, the favorable trade conditions Australian beef and wheat producers will soon receive as a benefit of membership in the TPP, are now seeing themselves sidelined.
And Trump's attempt to strike a trade agreement with China is similarly untenable and doomed to failure because he has no agenda and no momentum: some of our key allies who might otherwise be expected to lend their support to us are currently laboring under US-imposed tariffs.