While the United States pulled out of the multi-country trade deal known as the Trans Pacific Partnership, other countries have continued negotiations and are scheduled to sign an on March 6th, without the U.S. Montana Grain Growers Association Executive Director Lola Raska says that that is a worrisome prospect that will hurt Montana wheat growers.

"It means that U.S. wheat is put at a $65-per-metric ton disadvantage into countries like Japan, and Japan is the biggest buyer of Montana wheat. At a  $65-per-metric ton disadvantage, that is going to price U.S. wheat, and that means Montana wheat, out of that market and they are going to purchase more from Canada and Australia."

Raska says Montana Senator Steve Daines is leading a group of senators pushing for the U.S. to step back into TPP negotiations.

"There may not be enough time for us to get all our ducks in a row to join by this signing, but they have left the door open for other countries to join at any time," Raska said. "Senator Daines led a group of 25 senators to encourage the administration to pursue whatever channels they can to bring the United States back into negotiations."

Raska says that to her knowledge Montana Senator Jon Tester hasn’t yet staked out a position on reentering TPP negotiations. Though he campaigned against TPP, President Donald Trump recently showed signs of reconsidering the issue during his time at the World Economic Forum.

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