The U.S. must get more aggressive on trade deals, an American Farm Bureau official says, after the UK and India just launched talks on a free trade agreement. AFB Senior Director of Congressional Relations Dave Salmonsen says the Biden Administration should see the UK-India FTA announcement as a signal to engage on US deals.
“When other countries are pursuing deals, you need to be in it, you need to be in that arena. That’s what we’ve been saying almost from the beginning of this administration. We wanted them to get going on so many fronts.”
And Salmonsen says that’s not just with India.
“Could have thought that, of course, China wants to be in the CPTPP. That should be a spur to moving the U.S. in that direction, and now, talks with India.”
Salmonsen credits the administration for opening India to U.S. pork recently but says it’s only talked about a trade deal.
“There is talk of the administration doing this Indo-Pacific framework. They’re talking again about including India in that. How specific that will be, how binding any agreements will be, we’ll have to see.”
Reminded of the U.S. TPP experience when other nations beat the U.S. in doing tariff-reducing trade deals with Japan, Salmonsen argues the U.S. must “engage.” AFB President Zippy Duval has said on other issues, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the table.”