US farmers have been urged to ‘turn up the heat’ on Donald Trump as Canadian and Australian exporters look to benefit
Australian and Canadian beef and wheat farmers have been targeting the US’s market share in Japan thanks to a revised Asia-Pacific trade pact.
The US walked away from the original Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal in March and an outline agreement has now been reached without them.
Other countries signing up to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) included major exporters New Zealand and leading importers Japan and Mexico. The Canadian Government said the agreement was ‘great news for Canadian farmers’, opening opportunities for meat, grain and pulse exports.
Opportunities in Japan, a major beef and wheat importer, were highlighted by Australia, where trade minister Steve Ciobo claimed beef producers would now have a ‘competitive advantage’ on the US, the second largest exporter after Australia.
“Australian beef producers will have increased access with a more rapid decrease in tariffs on beef into Japan,” he said.
There were also new quotas for wheat, sugar and rice to Japan, and sugar into Canada and Mexico.
For wheat, tariffs for Australia and Canada were expected to fall by around $65/tonne (£45.61/tonne).
Japan buys an average of 3.1mt of US wheat every year and US Wheat Associates (USW), which promotes US wheat exports, called President Trump’s decision to withdraw ‘short sighted and unnecessary’, with US farmers now likely to take the hit.
In a statement, the National Association of Wheat Growers in the US said the market loss should serve as a ‘rallying cry’ to call for the new trade deals promised when Trump walked away.
“The heat needs to be turned up on the [Trump] administration and on trade negotiations with Japan,” the statement went on.
“An already-stressed agriculture sector needs the benefit of free and fair trade now.”