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David Sparks Ph.d Dole on TTP
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: February 08, 2017

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Former Senator Bob Dole wrote an opinion piece that was published in agri-pulse.com. Thought I’d read a few snippets from it. Perhaps no sector of the American economy is more dependent on trade than agriculture. It is the life blood of the heartland supporting over 15 million jobs throughout the United States. Our economy is so large, however, that the importance of agriculture is frequently overlooked. Americans take agriculture for granted because, as consumers, we spend less than 10% of our disposable income on food, the lowest in global history.

In 2015 agriculture exports were $133 billion, accounting for a quarter of all production. Therefore, it is entirely understandable that farmers become concerned when changes are proposed in trade agreements.  At the end of January, President Trump signed an Executive Order pulling out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying: “it is the intention of my Administration to deal directly with individual countries on a one-on-one (or bilateral) basis in negotiating future trade deals…. and to begin pursuing, wherever possible, bilateral trade negotiations to promote American industry, protect American workers, and raise American wages.”

President Trump has also announced his intention to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, even though Canada and Mexico are our largest trading partners.

If NAFTA is renegotiated, it should be done in a way that does not provoke the ire of our next door neighbors.

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