Wheat growers want new trade deals

Two U.S. wheat groups say the Trump Administration is putting too much emphasis on reworking existing trade agreements and not enough focus on negotiating new trade deals.

U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers want the President to keep his promise to negotiate new bilateral trade agreements in place of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Steve Mercer is the vice president of communications for U.S. Wheat Associates.

“This is something we feel the administration said it was going to do in place of TPP,” he says. “All we’re really saying is let’s see it happen and let’s start looking at these new markets.”

Mercer says U.S. wheat export competitors have been actively negotiating new trade agreements, while the U.S. is focused on renegotiation of existing agreements, such as NAFTA and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

“It’s not that we don’t think we can get modernization, but we’re in a very aggressive trade activity, especially in terms of free trade agreements by other countries,” he says. “Meanwhile we have literally done no new free trade agreements.”

Mercer says the U.S. hasn’t completed any new trade agreements since KORUS was signed a decade ago.

Audio: Steve Mercer, U.S. Wheat Associates

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