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October 22, 2020

10/15/2020 12:57:00 PM
Why have our farmers struggled

Dear Editor:
When Donald Trump took office in January of 2017 he had a trade deal waiting. The deal was entitled the "Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)" and involved the U. S. and 11 other countries. President Trump withdrew the US. The remaining countries which included Canada, Mexico, and Japan, entered into an agreement effective December of 2018, called TPP11 or CP-TPP.. The U. S. reached a new agreement with Canada and Mexico called the USMCA, which took effect in June of 2020. The US also reached an agreement with Japan that took effect in January of 2020. The part of both agreements dealing with agriculture was basically the same as what was in the TTP deal shelved in 2017. In the meantime Canada, New Zealand, among others was able to ramp up dairy trade with Japan and other TPP 11 countries including Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Peru, all dairy importing countries.
In the meantime the Trump administration was carrying on a trade war with China who was increasing dairy imports but not from the U S. From 2016 to 2018 the US share of China's dairy import fell from 27.9% to 17.4% and decreased further in 2019 while our dairy farmers suffered. Meanwhile 10% of Wisconsin dairy farms were lost through bankruptcy or suicide. Now we read that the U.S. Trade deficit in July reached the highest it has been since the 2008 recession. Did we not get a promise our trade deficit would improve. What's worse is Mexico, our best non domestic market for milk had record low overall exports from the U. S.
Are farmers being used as pawns in the presidents trade wars.
Carlton Austin
Fennimore, WI

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