Elections

Two Of Trump’s Agriculture Advisers Break Ranks On Trade Deal

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Two members of Republican nominee Donald Trump’s agriculture advisory committee disagree with his staunch opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a controversial trade deal Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton also opposes.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Sen. Pat Roberts, also of Kansas, urged Trump to consider expanding trade deals to help American farmers, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported Sunday.

“For a rural export state like Kansas, anything you can do to open foreign markets up is a good thing generally,” Brownback said. “We are export-dependent as a state.”

“I think it’s a good trade deal,” Roberts, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, said of the TPP. The landmark piece of legislation would expand trade with 12 Pacific countries. “We need to be in the mix. These are markets we should have. We’ve got to move the product.”

Earlier this summer, Trump said ratifying TPP would amount to the rape of American industry.

“It’s a rape of our country. It’s a harsh word, but that’s what it is — rape of our country,” Trump said during a campaign speech in St. Clairsville, Ohio, June 28.

President Barack Obama has found it difficult to gain congressional support for the TPP. (RELATED: Hillary Clinton Denounces NAFTA And TPP In Awkward Policy Reversal)

Brownback and Roberts agree, however, with Trump’s intention to reduce agricultural regulations. “All of agriculture feels like they’re being ruled and not governed,” Roberts said.

Clinton would continue Obama’s expansion of rules that essentially would “regulate these businesses out of existence,” Trump said during the first presidential debate in September.

The government has imposed “regulations on top of regulations, and new companies cannot form and old companies are going out of business,” Trump said. “And you want to increase the regulations and make them even worse.”

“I’m going to cut regulations,” Trump explained. “I’m going to cut taxes big league, and you’re going to raise taxes big league, end of story.”

Roberts and Brownback were named as part of Trump’s agriculture advisory committee in August, but said it’s unlikely that a meeting of the 65-member council will occur before the Nov. 8 election.

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