Opinion: New trade agreement deal a loss for U.S. agriculture

Conventional wisdom from some pundits when the POTUS followed through on his campaign promise to withdraw from Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations was that the deal would die without U.S. leadership. Well, not only did the deal NOT die, but a new deal – the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) –  was inked last month by the remaining nations:   Brunei, Chile, Australia, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam. The 11 nations together account for about 15 percent of global trade. When I heard of the signing, the 1977 Fleetwood Mac mega hit “Go Your Own Way” came quickly to mind:
You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it
Another lonely day
You can go your own way
Go your own way
Because it’s clear that Asia-Pacific nations sent U.S. trade negotiators the message that they are willing and able to step in and fill the America trade void. Let’s pull no punches here.  As the U.S. withdraws from what is becoming a world-wide multilateral trading system in favor of defensive bilateral trade agreements of relatively low ambition and scope, U.S. agricultural interests will suffer.