While U.S. agriculture braces for possible retaliation against American tariffs on steel and aluminum, a USDA Under Secretary remains optimistic about the future of trade.
AgriMarketing.com says the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Affairs, Ted McKinney, was in Japan when the tariffs were announced. McKinney told reporters that while talking with Japanese leaders, there was absolutely no worry about a possible trade war with the U.S.
He says the two sides emphasized the fact that they like doing business with each other. There was a good deal of discussion on ways to lower import tariffs on U.S. ag exports into Asia. “Whether we pursue a bilateral agreement, as the President wants, or possibly rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership, are decisions that the President and others need to make,” McKinney says.
McKinney says he heard that the 11 countries still involved in TPP would like America to come back into the fold. All sides did recognize that there may need to be some changes made for that to happen.
While the “America First” trade agenda can be challenging, he feels it will be successful in getting U.S. farmers better trade agreements.