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Yuma farmers worried about impact of trade deal withdrawal

Yuma farmers worried about impact of...

YUMA, Ariz. - President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The TPP was a free trade agreement with 11 pacific rim countries. Now Yuma County farmers worry that the President's decision will affect their rotation crops. 

"We have cotton. Cotton goes to China and other places. We have wheat. Durum wheat goes to Italy and is made into pasta that comes back. And we have hay that is compressed into containers and shipped overseas. It's really are rotation crops that are more affected by trade," Paul Brierley with Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture. 

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture says the TPP agreement was expected to increase trade in Arizona by about 40 million dollars.

"We in agriculture really do need trade. Ninety-five percent of the world's consumers are outside of the United States and twenty percent of agriculture production," says Brierley. "So one out of every five jobs or things that we harvest goes overseas. If that market goes away that's fewer American jobs."

Emma Torres of the Chicanos Por La Causa says these are important relationships to keep.

"There is a lot of systems in place. There is a lot of negotiations and companies that already have established," she says. "It took them years to establish their business and not being able to transport  or deliver their produce. To all of a sudden not having the opportunity to prepare to do it differently." 

Former President Obama negotiated the TPP. In its place, Donald Trump says the U.S. will work with each country individually. 

 


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