Tuesday, January 24, 2017

It's time for some 19th century trade policy issues

Wall Street Journal --

Farm groups expressed dismay on Monday at President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from a Pacific trade agreement they were counting on to sell a glut of American agricultural products in new markets. “It is critical that the new administration begin work immediately to do all it can to develop new markets for U.S. agricultural goods,” said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. Farm groups estimated the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership would have added $4.4 billion annually to the U.S. agricultural sector, offering some relief to farmers during a multiyear slump in crop prices and farm profits. U.S. net farm income last year dropped to the lowest level since 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Many farmers backed Mr. Trump’s presidential bid, responding to his vows to roll back environmental and land-management regulations that many see infringing on their business. While Mr. Trump consistently criticized TPP on the campaign trail, farmers and agricultural groups hoped that he would renegotiate some aspects of it, or craft new and better trade deals in office.

Now one country that is looking to sign an expansive bilateral trade deal with the USA and which currently has an agricultural sector protected from American food exports is ... the UK! Could the Tories handle a new Corn Laws debate?

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