National Pork Producers Council continue to press on Japanese trade deal

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

The NPPC said their support for a final TPP agreement hinges on market access for US pork
The NPPC said their support for a final TPP agreement hinges on market access for US pork

Related tags Barack obama Pork

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has sent a letter to senior trade officials within US President Barack Obama’s administration as part of its mission to get Japan to eliminate tariffs on US pork.

The NPPC has been pushing for the current Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to be concluded with Japan, unless it agreed to provide significant market access for US produce.

For the NPPC, this would mean the elimination of Japan’s Gate Price system, and all tariffs on US pork.

The letter, addressed to secretary for agriculture Tom Vilsack, and ambassador Michael Froman – a trade representative, detailed the reasons US negotiators should insist on these measures.

The NPPC claimed this was "the most important commercial issue ever to face US pork producers".​ The letter stated that while a modest increase in US pork exports might be achieved as the current offer from Japan stands, "it would rob the US pork industry of hundreds of millions of dollars in annual exports to Japan and would stymie the creation of thousands of US jobs that the industry would realise if the Gate Price and tariffs on pork were eliminated".

It said the Gate Price was associated with a long history of fraudulent and criminal activity, and it discriminated against Japanese consumers, by putting upward pressure on food prices. It has also prompted Japanese meat processing companies to move their factories to other Asian nations, claimed the NPPC.

"Pork producers’ support for a final TPP Agreement is conditional on the elimination of all tariff and non-tariff barriers to US pork exports in each of the TPP nations, including the elimination of the Gate Price in Japan,"​ said Howard Hill, president of the NPPC.

Japan is currently the US’ largest export market, with nearly $2bn of pork product shipped there last year.

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