U.S. wheat growers say the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that excludes the United State puts overseas demand for U.S. wheat at serious risk.
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,” said Ben Conner, U.S. Wheat Associates Director of Policy. “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, National Association of Wheat Growers President and a wheat grower from Outlook, Montana. “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 TPP-11 countries include Canada and Australia, which are major competitors to the United States in the Japanese wheat market. Other countries with rapidly growing demand for imported wheat include Mexico, Vietnam, Malaysia, Chile, and Peru. Singapore, Brunei and New Zealand round out the remainin partner countries.