Ag Today November 15, 2016

California Agriculture Industry Optimistic About Trump Ag Policy

Monday, November 14, 2016 | Sacramento, CA | Capital Public Radio News

From almonds to dairy products California exports 20 percent of what it produces. Federal trade policy has a huge impact on state agricultural exports. Despite many unknowns, one AG industry leader has an optimistic outlook about what a Trump administration would do on trade.

When it comes to what specific policies president-elect Trump will pursue no one has a crystal ball.

Paul Wenger, President of the California Farm Bureau Federation, says despite the unknowns he’s optimistic about how Trump will steer trade policy.

Wenger predicts Trump will consider the merits of TPP, the Trans-Pacific-Partnership, a global trade deal negotiated by the Obama administration that is stalled out in Congress.

“This administration as they come in are going to have to take a look at it. And if he’s such a good businessman he will see this was a good deal,” says Wenger.

Dan Sumner is an agricultural economist at the University of California. He’s pretty sure Trump understands the benefit of trade.

“When there’s trade both sides benefit. Otherwise you don’t trade,” says Sumner.

He says despite anti-trade campaign rhetoric, Trump may just want to put his own stamp on TPP, not nix it.

“I can imagine President Trump asking for a delay on that until he renegotiates parts of it,” says Sumner. “And if he can renegotiate what he considers a better deal, great, and he may well be very instrumental in getting such a thing through Congress.”

If Trump were to help pass TPP it would be an unpredictable ending for a deal forged by President Obama and opposed by Trump, Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton on the campaign trail.