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All Eyes on Japan in TPP Negotiations

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vilsack-stageAg Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman testified before House committees Friday that Japan is the problem in completing Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations. Froman says all eyes are on Japan as they continue to keep sensitive products – including ag products – off the table for negotiations. He says it’s time for Japan to step up to the plate and agree to the same level of ambition as other TPP countries. Vilsack says the U.S. must see increased market access or there may not be a deal – or Japan may not be part of the deal. Froman says one country can’t feel entitled to exclude vast areas of market access while other countries put everything on the table. 

Vilsack Afraid Antidumping Case Could Cause Problems with Mexico

The U.S. has been negotiating with Mexico on a variety of agricultural issues. Most recently – Mexico agreed to accept U.S. potato imports. The country is also importing large amounts of high fructose corn syrup from the United States. The Hagstrom Report reports during a House Ag Committee hearing last week – Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack told lawmakers he fears the legal case U.S. sugar producers have filed asking for corrective action could affect other negotiations with Mexico. Vilsack says he has a positive relationship with Mexican officials and doesn’t want to jeopardize that relationship – and Mexican officials have expressed their unhappiness with the U.S. to him. American Sugar Alliance spokesman Philip Hayes says the action by the Mexican government was temporary and too little, too late. Hayes says the case is designed to force the government to enforce U.S. law against subsidized imports. Under NAFTA – Mexico has the right to ship unlimited amounts of sugar to the U.S. – but other trade laws say the shipment of subsidized sugar is illegal.

Source: NAFB News Service