Countries trade with each other when on their own, they do not have enough resources to satisfy their people’s needs and wants. Countries that produce a surplus of product can trade for other resources they need.

More than 25 percent of all U.S. ag production goes to markets outside of our border. Agricultural trade is a generator of income for millions of people in the industry. Trade is critical to the livelihood of the US ag sector because it spurs economic growth for our farmers and ranchers and their communities. The expansion of agricultural trade has helped provide greater quantity, wider variety, and better quality food to our growing population. Agricultural exports support more than 1 million jobs to Americans. Without our expanded trade, the ag economy as a whole would not be as strong as it is today.

When the president signed an order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we were disappointed because we saw the TPP as a positive event for our industry as it would have added billions of dollars to our economy. Now we need to work immediately to develop new markets for our country’s goods and product interest in the Pacific region.

As Trump withdrew from this agreement, many concerns have arose from the agriculture industry producers. There are many states that really depend on trade to keep them standing. Farmers and ranchers are afraid that with this agreement, they will be losing trade and losing money. A lot of farmers are currently scared about what is happening, and if they are going to be able to keep their farms and support their families.

The livestock industry had in its sights a future of expansion and export growth. After Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that has almost completely disappeared. We need trade agreement in place to provide an opportunity for farmers to sell their products.

There are people all over the United States that depend on exports to keep their jobs. With future export opportunities and the question if other countries are going to pick up more exports, U.S. farmers are wondering if they are going to be in trouble.

Sara Pieper
Western Illinois University


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