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Ben Sasse: Donald Trump Ready to Rejoin TPP to Help American Farmers

Ben Sasse: Donald Trump Ready to Rejoin TPP to Help American Farmers

U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping make joint statements at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.

The U.S. International Trade Commission, an independent federal agency, has projected in 2016 that TPP would increase economic growth and create jobs, but the gains would be small: After 15 years, the deal would add just 128,000 jobs, an increase of less than a tenth of 1 percent.

Sen. Ben Basse, R-Neb., said it was "good news" Trump directed Kudlow and Lasse to reconsider joining the TPP.

Trump's request comes as he faces pressure from farm-state Republicans anxious that his protectionist trade policies could spiral into a trade war with China that would hit rural America. Midwest farmers fear becoming caught up in a trade war as Beijing threatens to impose tariffs on soybeans and other US crops, a big blow to Midwestern farmers, many of whom are strong Trump supporters.

Trump railed against the original TPP and other multilateral trade deals throughout the 2016 campaign, arguing that poorly negotiated trade agreements destroyed United States jobs.

The president has mused publicly about rejoining the deal before, suggesting he would re-enter if he could negotiate more favorable terms.

The GOP political leaders are especially concerned about the impact trade retaliation from China could have on US agriculture, which relies heavily on exports to China.

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Reuters reported that Trump talked of lifting the summertime ban on E15, which is limited due to concerns about smog.

He criticized the idea of using government welfare payments to farmers to help them survive threatening tariffs from China.

"[Trump] understands that for our farmers to be successful, we need to grow - not contract - our markets", Reynolds said.

But in recent months - even as he has erected tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and against China - the President has also begun to signal a willingness to reassess his stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. "Increased economic engagement with the 11 nations now in TPP has the potential to substantially improve the competitiveness of US businesses, support millions of U.S.jobs, increase USA exports, increase wages, fully unleash America's energy potential, and benefit consumers".

Kennedy is appearing before the House Ways and Means Committee, which is examining the impact of tariffs.

China has countered by announcing its own set of tariffs on US products. Trump campaigned on promises to bring down America's massive trade deficit - $566 billion United States past year - by rewriting trade agreements and cracking down on what he called abusive practices by USA trading partners. He said China's theft of intellectual property has inflicted serious damage to USA companies and threatens the country's future economic outlook.


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