Farm group concerned about farm futures without Trans Pacific Partnership

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SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KAKE) -

Over the weekend, eleven countries agreed to resurrect the Trans Pacific Partnership without participation from the United States. In January, President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out by way of an executive order.

Kansas Association of Wheat Growers Government Affairs Director Daniel Heady said, "TPP would have given us market access into areas of the world where we could be more competitive. It would have lowered tariff rates and done things for us to give us the ability to compete overseas, in areas of the world we're not really that competitive in." 

Sedgwick County farmer Kent Winter is president of the Kansas Grain Sorghum Association. Winter, like so many Kansas farmers, said he at first was concerned about the U.S. not participating in the trade agreement. But now he wants to give the administration a chance to do something better than that pact. Winter said, "They promised that they would come away with a new deal that was better. And so I believe they need to be allowed to pursue that."  

Winter said it's premature to say withdrawing from TPP will be bad for Kansas farmers. He said, "Maybe we can do better, if we talk to them one on one." 

What Winter has no doubt about, is the need to export the massive amounts of grain farmers produce. "We produce more in this country than what we can consume and utilize. We heavily depend on exports."

Heady said,  "I don't think we have more grain on the ground because the President pulled out of TPP. But I think that's a missed opportunity. It was an opportunity for Kansas farmers to sell more grain overseas."  

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