Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill and more than 80 other food and agribusiness groups sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Monday emphasizing the importance of U.S. trade with Asia.

A central Illinois farmer harvests his corn crop toward the end of the 2016 harvest season.
A central Illinois farmer harvests his corn crop toward the end of the 2016 harvest season.

The letter’s signees — which also included the American Farm Bureau Federation and international meat giant JBS — urged the president to reduce restrictive agricultural policies tied to the Asia-Pacific region in order to help American farmers better compete on an international level.

“The Asia-Pacific region is the world’s largest market for food and agriculture and is expected to grow rapidly in the years ahead,” wrote the signees. “We hope your administration will create such opportunities for our sector by deepening U.S. economic engagement in this critical region while responding to the Asia-only regional trade agreements being negotiated by our foreign competitors.”

After outspokenly campaigning against it, Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal through an executive order in January.

The trade deal — negotiated by the Obama administration with 11 Pacific-Rim countries including Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam — would have cut thousands of taxes on U.S. exports. Trans-Pacific Partnership supporters also claimed the deal would have helped the United States influence the trade agenda in a region largely dominated by China.

In their letter, the food and agribusiness groups wrote that many of them strongly supported the trade deal.

Other notable companies to sign the letter include Campbell Soup, ConAgra Brands, Smithfield Foods and Tyson Foods.

Read the full letter to President Donald Trump on agricultural trade with Asia

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