President Trump pulling the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership this week hurt Kansas economic interests and U.S. strategic interests. The trade agreement between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim countries would have eliminated most foreign tariffs on U.S. transportation equipment, including Wichita airplanes, which are currently as high as 25 percent. It also would have made it easier for small businesses to access the global marketplace – a key to growing the Wichita and Kansas economy. TPP also would have helped Kansas farmers and ranchers, who depend on a growing global export market. Farm groups had estimated that TPP would add $4.4 billion annually to the U.S. agricultural economy. Pulling out of the agreement was a strategic mistake for the United States, as it allows China to assert even more influence and set the rules of trade. As Chinese President Xi Jinping said last weekend, China is happy to take over the leadership role in global trade. That won’t make Kansas or America great. – Phillip Brownlee
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