Chief Ag Negotiator: Bilateral Deals Are ‘Always Better’

Doud-CPTPP
“What the president said is something that is exactly out of the textbook I studied in graduate school. We are always going to get a better deal bi-laterally.” ( REUTERS/Aly Song )

President Donald Trump’s preference for bilateral trade deals is well documented. In fact, he’s been talking about bilateral deals since he was on the campaign trail. USTR Chief Ag Negotiator Gregg Doud said the president is right when he says bilateral deals are better.

One trade deal the president is talking about approaching as a bilateral deal is the CTPP, the former Trans Pacific Partnership.

“I was in the back of the room with the President, some senators and the Governor of Iowa [when] this came up,” he told AgDay TV’s Betsy Jibben at the World Pork Expo. “What the president said is something that is exactly out of the textbook I studied in graduate school. We are always going to get a better deal bi-laterally.”

According to Doud, when countries negotiate a multi-lateral deal like the former TPP, the agreement always boils down to the lowest common denominator across the countries.

“His position is ‘If I do this bi-laterally with Japan and a bi-lateral with Vietnam, we’ll get a better deal,’ and I believe he’s correct,” Doud said. “The economic textbook says he’s correct.”

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