Acting US Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis announced last Friday that the US had completed its bilateral consultations with Japan and was “pleased to welcome Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations”.
Japan must get agreement from all 11 current members before it is accepted into the TPP negotiations, and Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Peru have yet to make a decision. However, the support of the US should add weight to Japan’s application.
The US National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) said that the addition of Japan – currently the biggest market for US pork – would “exponentially increase” the importance of the TPP to US pig farmers.
“With Japan in it, TPP is the single most important trade negotiation ever for US pork and many other US agricultural products,” said NPPC president Randy Spronk.
“We estimate that a South Korea-Colombia-type outcome for US pork in the TPP negotiations – meaning the elimination of all tariff and non-tariff barriers – would create 27,000 direct and indirect pork industry jobs in the US.”
He added that the entry of Japan would encourage other countries in Asia and Latin America to join the TPP. “It will signal to other nations that efforts to negotiate more open and transparent trading arrangements will continue, even as multilateral efforts to do so are stymied,” said Spronk.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) said the agreement would help improve market conditions in Japan, which was the second-largest importer of US beef last year, and recently agreed to extend the age limit for US beef from 21 months of age to 30 months of age.
“Cattlemen and -women are encouraged by the Obama administration’s announcement to include Japan in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) negotiations. Japan is an important ally to the US and we hope this will strengthen the ties between our two nations,” said NCBA president-elect Bob McCan.
“We urge the US government and the government of Japan to continue working together to establish international trade standards based on sound science and market-driven principles. The TPP has the potential to be a new era in global trade where all TPP countries can compete for consumer demand without the hindrance of protectionism.”