U.S. Wheat `at Serious Risk' After Trump Bailed on Trade Accord

January 24, 2018 10:45 AM

(Bloomberg) -- Export demand for U.S. wheat is “at serious risk” as Canada and other nations move ahead on a new Pacific trade pact abandoned by President Donald Trump.

That’s the dismal prognosis from U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers after Canada, one of the world’s biggest grain exporters, agreed to proceed on a Pacific trade accord with Mexico and nine other nations.

The revised Trans-Pacific Partnership sends a “discouraging signal” to U.S. customers in Japan, which imports 3.1 million tons of wheat a year on average, U.S. Wheat Associates said Tuesday in a statement. The Asian nation’s import tariffs on Canadian and Australian grain may drop by about $65 a metric ton, putting U.S. farmers at a “price disadvantage of more than $200 million per year,” the Arlington, Virginia-based group said.

“Withdrawing from TPP was shortsighted and unnecessary and now U.S. wheat farmers could take the hit,” Ben Conner, the group’s director of policy, said in the statement.

Trump has also repeated threats to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement as talks continue with Canada and Mexico. This week, the president imposed tariffs on solar-panel and washing-machine imports, stoking some concerns over retaliation in agriculture markets.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jen Skerritt in Winnipeg at jskerritt1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net, Patrick McKiernan, Millie Munshi

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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