The incoming Trump Administration will be looking for bilateral trade deal partners in this new year, assuming the US President-elect ditches America’s involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, as he’s announced. President-elect Donald Trump says his administration will pursue bilateral deals, after rejecting TPP, and American Farm Bureau trade adviser Dave Salmonsen says a handful of countries are ripe for talks.
We’d still be interested in doing a bilateral deal with Japan, a large trading partner capable of improvement,” he said. “We had a lot of good provisions in the TPP with Japan and we’d like to save some of those and find a way to make those move ahead. Vietnam also is a country we would like to do a deal with. Lots of opportunities there, especially in meat products.”
China, not a TPP member, is the biggest player in the region.
“That’s something I think people would be interested in pursuing. It will take its share of time and there are a lot of issues to be dealt with, but certainly China is always right there at the top of any list in the Asia Pacific region.”
Other countries that might increase the value of US agricultural exports include Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan.
“We’ve had some issues with getting pork imports into Taiwan,” Salmonsen explained. “We’d like that improved. Whether those issues on specific commodities rise to the level on wanting to go ahead with a full-blown trade agreement, but certainly a place in the Asia Pacific where agriculture definitely has a trading interest.”
Another question for the new administration is who will lead trade negotiations? Today that question was answered as President-elect Trump announced that he intends to nominate Robert Lighthizer as U.S. Trade Representative. Ambassador Lighthizer served under President Ronald Reagan as Deputy United States Trade Representative, playing a major role in developing trade policy for the Reagan Administration and negotiating roughly two dozen bilateral international agreements on a variety of topics from steel to grain.
Source: NAFB News Service