With trade policies unknown, many are worrying the U.S. will fall behind

Asia continues to be a driving factor in the U.S. farm trade expansion, and with the White House trade agenda up in the air, some are calling for answers sooner rather than later.

USDA’s Trade Counsel says that the U.S. made up the majority of its Trans-Pacific Partnership withdrawal losses in its deal with Japan, but Jason Hafemeister says that the U.S. still remains uninvolved in other deals.

“We need to some response to make sure that we are on the same playing field as our competitors,” he explains.

The Biden Administration’s trade approach is still up in the air. Farm interests are becoming frustrated that we will fall behind.

“Now, I don’t know if that’s through WTO, I don’t know if it’s through TPP, I don’t know if we take these countries on one at a time, but I know that we don’t want to fall behind,” Hafemeister states.

A USDA economist says that China’s Phase One buys have exceeded expectations as it recovers from ASF.

According to Shawn Arita, “China recently booked over 10 million metric tons for next marketing year, some for some crop that is currently being planted, and it’s not just corn. We look at soybeans, cotton, sorghum, beef, wheat-- China has been far exceeding previous years.”

As the Biden administration completes a top-to-bottom review of the previous administration’s deals with Asia, it remains unknown if China will continue implementing Phase One or return to previous trade barriers.


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