US pork producers are making plenty of noise about Japan’s refusal to open its market to more US pork. The U.S. is currently negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement with 13 Asian nations which would eliminate trade barriers and foster free trade. But Japan is refusing to lower their trade barriers on U.S. ag products, especially pork. , with the NPPC, says this is a major issue for the US pork industry, “Japan’s recalcitrance on agriculture has forced pork producers and other farm groups to get very loud and very public.” He added, if Japan is allowed to keep tariffs on U.S. farm imports, it will cost American agriculture billions of dollars in lost sales.
The other nations involved in the TPP agreement have agreed to lower trade barriers and tariffs on agricultural products. He said U.S. pork producers alone would lose millions of dollars in export sales if the U.S. would agree to allow Japan to keep its tariffs in place, “If the U.S. would agree to such a bad deal, it would result in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in lost pork sales alone.”
Giordano added what is worse is that, if Japan is allowed to get away with keeping their tariffs on ag products, it would set a precedent for all other trade agreements, “If Japan gets this special treatment that the U.S. has never extended to any other trade partner, it will become the new standard in trade agreements.” He said this precedent could impact agricultural trade for the next 25 years. Pork producers, along with other ag groups, are sending a strong message to Congress that, unless Japan gives up it protectionism, U.S. farmers will not support the TPP trade agreement.
The National Pork Producers Council has joined the International Dairy Foods Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the USA Rice Federation, and the U.S. Wheat Association in calling on the Obama administration to conclude the (TPP) negotiations without Japan unless that nation agrees to provide significant market access for the U.S. According to reports from the recent TPP trade ministerial meeting in Singapore, Japanese Minister of the Economy Akira Amari said Japan will not abolish tariffs in the agricultural sectors it considers sacred, including dairy, sugar, rice, beef, pork, wheat, and barley. The TPP involves the U.S., Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, which account for nearly 40 percent of global GDP.