The Arkansas Farm Bureau, at least in their public posture, is in denial about the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
One of President-elect Donald Trump‘s first pledges after the election was to withdraw from the TPP on his first day in office. The free trade deal was agreed to by twelve nations in 2015 but has yet to be ratified. Trump called it “a potential disaster for the country.”
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The Arkansas Farm Bureau, which holds its annual meeting this week, is pretending this isn’t so, or doing some serious contortions to try to read the soybean leaves. The ag publication The Progressive Farmer reports:
Randy Veach, president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau, is counting on President-elect Donald Trump not following through on a vow to drop out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. …
“I think we will continue to move forward with TPP in some form, even though what the president-elect said,” Veach said.
Trump is a wild card, but the single coherent and consistent ideological position he has taken, both during the campaign and throughout his career in public life, is trade protectionism and opposition to multilateral trade deals. He promised to withdraw from TPP on his first day, and unlike some of his wilder promises, nothing is stopping from doing so.
The Farm Bureau favors TPP because it wants increased access to markets in the Pacific Rim. Meanwhile, they’re also hoping for trade opportunities with Cuba, another area where they will likely find disagreement with the president-elect.