Pacific Trade Deal Hits U.S. Food Producers

Eleven countries will benefit from reduced tariffs; the U.S. isn’t one of them.

January 07, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Seven countries have ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and another four are expected to join soon. Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam are officially on board, with Chile, Malaysia, Peru and Brunei to join soon.

President Trump backed out of the deal early last year, which will likely put pressure on U.S. products and commodity producers. Member countries will benefit from the CPTPP with reduced tariffs and increased cost of goods from non-members.

"Our competitors in Australia and Canada will now benefit from those provisions, as U.S. farmers watch helplessly," said U.S. Wheat Associates President Vince Peterson at a hearing.

Reports say that it will likely affect grain farmers and meat and dairy producers that are already suffering from tariff wars, not to mention any U.S. food and beverage manufactures that export to CPTPP member countries. And according to CNN, Welch’s grape juice and California almonds will be subject to tariffs in Japan while member countries’ products will become duty-free. Additionally, Australia could export more beef to Japan than the U.S. since their foreign beef tariffs would become 27.5% cheaper, CNBC reported.

According to Food Dive, before the U.S. pulled out of the deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership was predicted to boost U.S. beef and pork exports by $2 billion at the implementation and net trade was projected to rise for rice, cotton, beef, pork, poultry, butter, cheese and non-fat dry milk.