Defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership not favorable for local cattle ranchers

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership could disrupt an essential market for beef producers, a market that doesn't exist anywhere else.

TPP would have fostered the demand in Japan for American beef products, products we don't eat but are still a quality food source. 

Now with that trade agreement out the door, some local beef producers are essentially losing out on tens of thousands of dollars.

"Just because the grass is green and there's plentiful water this year, it doesn't mean it's going to be easy on the cattle rancher," said Jack Lavers, Lavers Ranch.

Jack Laver's is a sixth generation cow-calf producer and stocker. 

Since 1858 his family has bred and raised cattle on this land in Glennville.

"Our roots are deep here," Lavers said. 

However the last few years have been hard for local cattle ranchers.

"There's always something coming down the pike hitting us," Lavers said. 

Which now includes the defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The trade agreement would have lowered tariff's on beef in japan over the next 16 years from 38.5% to 9%.

Which is important because Japanese consumers eat beef products that have no market in America. 

"Your intestines and tongues and things of that nature where overseas it's a hot commodity market," Lavers said. 

Those beef products catch upwards of a hundred dollars per carcass, but without lower tariff's many Japanese consumers can't afford to buy them. 

In other words, it's getting harder for the cattle rancher. 

But even with trade agreements, among other state and federal regulations, up in the air, Lavers said it's all worth it. 

"A wise man named Bill Rankin once told me that he was very lucky because he's never had to work a day in his life and I agree with him.  Even in the bad days when everything is going wrong, it's well worth it.  My family's truly been blessed by God and I'm thankful everyday," Lavers said. 

Lavers said he is hopeful a new agreement will be reached because local ranchers could really use that money to help pay for the recent fuel tax and vehicle registration hikes in California, other issues that ranchers could take a big hit on. 

 

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