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Wheat Growers Call for New Trade Agreements
USAgNet - 10/06/2017

U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers strongly urge the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to pivot from re-negotiating existing free trade agreements to negotiating new deals, as repeatedly promised by President Trump as a candidate and since taking office.

The United States and Korea yesterday pledged to begin negotiations on aspects of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). While the wheat industry does not in principle object to modernizing trade agreements, such as the ongoing negotiations to update NAFTA, KORUS is the United States' most recent trade agreement and is barely a quarter of the way through full implementation. It also passed with strong bipartisan support in Congress after being negotiated under two separate administrations.

"While we disagreed, the President made clear that he did not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We were promised a series of bilateral trade agreements in its place," said NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. "USTR has limited resources - it is time to get past plowing the same fields and start opening ground in new markets. Right now, we are standing around watching the world pass us by on trade agreements."

USW and NAWG recently weighed in against withdrawal from KORUS for fear of market disruptions and concern that the United States will lose leverage and incentives to get good trade deals in the future.

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