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Trump to promote China, Mexico-Canada trade deals to farmers

Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk down the steps of Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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    WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. — U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to discuss new U.S. trade agreements with Canada, Mexico and China during an appearance Sunday at a convention of American farmers.

    When Trump spoke to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s convention last year, he urged farmers to continue supporting him even as they suffered financially in the fallout from his trade war with China and a partial shutdown of the federal government.

    Trump’s follow-up speech Sunday in Austin, Texas, will give him a chance to make the case to farmers that he kept two promises on trade that he made as a candidate – to improve trade with China and separately with Canada and Mexico – and that farmers stand to benefit from both pacts.

    "They hit `paydirt’ with our incredible new Trade Deals: CHINA, JAPAN, MEXICO, CANADA, SOUTH KOREA, and many others!" the president tweeted Sunday, mentioning U.S. trade agreements with two additional Asian countries.

    Trump signed a preliminary trade deal with China at the White House last Wednesday that commits Beijing to boosting its imports of U.S. manufacturing, energy and farm goods by US$200 billion this year and next. That includes larger purchases of soybeans and other farm goods expected to reach US$40 billion a year, the U.S. has said, though critics wonder if China can meet the targets.

    Also last week, the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favour of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a successor to the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. The administration designed the new agreement to return some factory production to the United States, mostly automobiles.

    NAFTA had triggered a surge in trade among the three countries, but Trump and other critics blamed it for U.S. job losses brought about when American factories moved production south of the border to take advantage of low-wage labour in Mexico.

    The House passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada deal in December and Trump is expected to sign it soon.

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