California farmers could have reaped substantial profits if the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership had become law, reported Robert Rodriguez in the Fresno Bee, but President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal.
According to the American Farm Bureau, California fruit and nut producers could have made $562 million in sales through lower tariffs and the elimination of tariffs. Dairy producers could have made $53 million in additional revenue.
Rodriguez spoke with Daniel Sumner, director of the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' Agricultural Issues Center. Sumner said an outcome of Trump's decision may be for the U.S. to negotiate individual deals with Pacific nations.
"Vietnam could prove to be very useful," Sumner said. In Vietnam, a growing middle class is making the country a more attractive destination for California agricultural products.
Trump also promised during the campaign to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which Sumner said could prove difficult because Canada and Mexico are key California trade partners.
"When you unilaterally open a trade agreement that has been successful, it can be very scary," Sumner said. "It is a huge market for California."