Farmers upset about order on TPP

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TOLONO — After the loss of valuable trading partners, farmers in central Illinois are worried about their future.

This week, President Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, calling it a “bad deal for America.”

But farmers are worried it could be a bad deal for them.

Almost half of Illinois’s crop exports go out to other countries, including those in TPP.

A big part of those exports are corn and soybeans.

We spoke with farmers who say they would get hit hard by this order, but the president says otherwise.

He felt confident about the decision, saying “great thing for the American worker, what we just did.”
 
Not everyone agrees.
 
Lin Warfel has been farming for decades.
 
He plays a part in helping to feed our state, the nation and the world, but now, he’s worried less free trade opportunity means big trouble.
 
“We produce too much to just be used here in the united states, and so it would impact the price of corn and price of soybeans, which means farmers would be going broke hand over fist,” said Warfel.
 
He wonders, if farmers’ fields go barren, then what happens?
 
“I don’t know how we’d eat. Half the people in the united state now live in cities. They don’t know how to do anything but grow a garden, at best. Growing a garden will not feed the cities. So if farmers go out of business, we have a huge problem,” said Warfel.
 
Farmer Leslie Cooperband doesn’t grow corn and soybeans herself, but she knows a lot of farmers who do.
 
“Not being able to have free and open trade with a particular region of the globe typically has not been good for sales of commodity crops,” said Cooperband.
 
Warfel said “my biggest concern is that the new president acts too quickly, and doesn’t give his advisors time to visit with him and talk with him, and show him how important some of these things are.”
 
Cooperband said she hopes some solutions will come quickly.
 
“My guess is that they will either try to find other outlets for the crops,” said Cooperband.
 
Warfel thinks the problem will be corrected.
 
He has faith the president and the staff he’s appointed will turn things around.
 
“I think I’m optimistic we will work through some of these things,” said Warfel.
 
Wafel said his next concern is on NAFTA, which involves Canada and Mexico.
 
He hopes the president’s negotiations with NAFTA will yield good results for a continued partnership.
 
The Illinois Farm Bureau released a statement about the order, saying “President Trump’s executive order to withdraw the United States from the TPP is another setback to an already struggling economy. With TPP being halted, we implore the administration to start working toward opening new markets for Illinois crop and livestock farmers.”

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