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Trump puzzles some with his position on beef tariffs

Progressive Cattleman Editor Cassidy Woolsey Published on 12 May 2016

Presumed Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, promised supporters this weekend at a rally that he would go “tit-for-tat” with Japan when it comes to tariffs on U.S. beef.

“If you want to charge a tariff of 38 percent to Nebraska for its beef, then we’re going to charge you a tariff of 38 percent when you sell your cars to the United States,” Trump told the Nebraska audience, as quoted by Nebraska’s PBS and NPR stations.

Yet, when referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trump opposes the trade agreement, calling it a “horrible deal” during a Fox Business debate last year. However, if the TPP were to pass, it would lower Japan’s tariff on beef exports – which is exactly what Trump wants to do.

“I would take care of that situation so fast. In one day that situation would be equalized,” Trump said, not long after accusing the White House of signing the TPP deal – as quoted by Politico.

Currently, Japan’s tariffs on U.S. beef are 38.5 percent, but with the TPP, the tariff could be lowered to 9 percent over the next 15 years. U.S. beef industry groups have largely supported the TPP because it would “help level the playing field” for U.S. exports and open up new opportunities with additional markets.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, along with other agricultural groups, urged Congress to approve the TPP this year. In a letter last month, they stated that “the TPP presents a valuable opportunity for U.S. agriculture, one that we cannot afford to miss. ... We must act now.”  end mark

Cassidy Woolsey
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