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The Elephant In Every Room: Trump

President Trump is dominating more than just U.S. news. More than a quarter of agribusiness investors say their greatest worry is trade disruptions, such as introduction of new tariffs or disintegration of trade pacts, according to a survey by commodity news site Agrimoney, based in London. “Trump was flagged by nearly 20% of respondents as among key factors for agribusiness – either named in isolation or linked to policies on the likes of trade or biofuels.” One investor said, “Mr. Trump is the elephant in every room, including on ag.”

It’s no wonder. Trump emphatically withdrew the U.S. from the proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, promised to renegotiate NAFTA, and threatened higher tariffs on Chinese and Mexican goods. The administration says it prefers bilateral trade agreements (to maximize U.S. leverage) over multilateral, regional, or global pacts.

The White House told Congress that it may ignore WTO rules if need be. “It’s time for a more aggressive approach,” it said in outlining its trade policy. “The Trump administration will use all possible leverage to encourage other countries to give U.S. producers fair, reciprocal access to their markets.”

This article was produced in collaboration with the Food & Environment Reporting Network, an independent, nonprofit news organization producing investigative reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.


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