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Trump Administration Plans Hearing on Trade with Japan

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The Trump administration will hold a hearing in December to help craft negotiating objectives for a trade deal between the U.S. and Japan. A recent Federal Register notice seeks public comment with a deadline of November 26th, and a hearing scheduled for December 10th in Washington, DC. The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office is seeking the comments to develop U.S. negotiating positions.

USTR specifically is seeking comments on product-specific negotiating objectives, trade barriers, economics, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and on measures or practices that undermine fair market opportunities for U.S. businesses, workers, farmers, and ranchers that should be addressed in the negotiations. Japan has previously sought to enter a trade agreement through other means, instead of a bilateral agreement, in an effort to protect its agriculture industry from United States agriculture.

The Trans-Pacific-Partnership replacement that does not include the United States will take effect at the end of this year. Australia and Canada filed ratification documents this week for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, kicking off a 60-day waiting period before the agreement takes effect, as now six countries have ratified the deal, including Japan. President Trump removed the U.S. from the agreement upon taking office, opening a new era of trade policy for the U.S. focusing on bilateral agreements and aggressive negotiations.

The Wall Street Journal reports backers of the agreement say it may be the most important trade agreement reached in more than two decades, modernizing agreements to reflect the rise of digital trade, services and copyright in a fast-growing region. The trade deal puts U.S. agriculture at a competitive disadvantage as it phases out ties on sensitive products such as agricultural imports in countries including Japan and Mexico.

Source: NAFB News Service