Letter to the Editor: Trump should not end Trans-Pacific Partnership

By Daniel Austins

When President-elect Donald Trump upset former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, much of the world was devastated. Clinton, who was predicted to be the winner, was going to continue the progress President Barack Obama began.

Instead, the Trump presidency has sworn to shake up the U.S., undoing much of the progress made in the last eight years.

One way the president-elect has promised to do this is by changing our trading policies. Trump campaigned on the promise to abolish the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement currently on the floor of Congress.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership proposes to open domestic markets, such as the U. S.’ agricultural markets to the international community. This will have a significant impact on the global economy, but also on ours here at home.

Illinois has one of the largest agricultural industries in the nation. Per the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Illinois will benefit greatly from agricultural exports to the Pacific region, boosting trade revenues by as much as $8 billion a year. This revenue could significantly improve the lives of those in farming communities in Illinois, such as those surrounding Champaign-Urbana.

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The removal of such trade deals could leave communities without the resources to build upon infrastructure, schools and improvements to the community. If the president-elect does not act quickly to replace or amend the Trans-Pacific Partnership, communities like ours will feel the consequences.

While international trade does pose some risk, such as increased competition that can result in economic loss, the opportunity to trade is far more valuable.

As members of an agricultural community, there is a responsibility to uphold and protect the communities we live in, and to think about how such massive legislation impacts everyone, not just members of specific industries.

Daniel Austins is a freshman in Business.

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