WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2013-- A coalition of agricultural organizations indicated Wednesday they may oppose a final Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement if it includes Japan.
In a letter sent to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the 17 groups said Japanese negotiators will not present a comprehensive offer on agricultural products, including elimination of tariffs.
“If Japan continues to insist upon unreasonable protections...we ask you to consider concluding TPP without Japan. It will ultimately be difficult for our organizations to support a TPP agreement with Japan that does not include comprehensive trade liberalization for all agriculture sectors," the letter concludes.
Signatories on the letter include: USA Rice, American Meat Institute, American Soybean Association, International Dairy Foods Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Corn Growers Association, National Oilseed Processors Association, National Pork Producers Council, U.S. Wheat Associates, and the American Farm Bureau.
The TPP is a regional trade negotiation that includes the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, which account for nearly 40 percent of global GDP. The United States shipped $13.5 billion of food and agricultural products to Japan in 2012.
The groups further stated in their letter that if Japan is allowed to claim exceptions for certain products, other TPP countries will do the same. Results of these negotiations will affect future trade agreements, including the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership now being negotiated between the United States and the European Union, they said.
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