Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Thursday 12/19/13

Ag Groups Draw a Hard Line on Japan and TPP Talks

Seventeen major agricultural lobbies wrote U.S. Trade Ambassador Michael Froman on Wednesday expressing their concern about Japan's role in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The groups state they had all showed "past strong support" for the Pacific rim trade deal, but they have "watched with growing alarm" Japan's lack of interest in offering a more comprehensive proposal on agricultural products, "and we now believe this situation is threatening to undermine the negotiations."

Groups signing on to the letter include commodities and ag products with major markets in Japan, including the National Pork Producers Council and National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Corn, soybean, chicken, milk, turkey, wheat and rice groups also all joined the letter as well as the American Farm Bureau.

As the groups noted, "Japan – a rich, developed country – is demanding special treatment for its agricultural sector" in the Pacific trade talks. "We consider an agreement that includes such special treatment for Japan to be unacceptable.

"If Japan is allowed to claim exceptions for sensitive products, other TPP partners will inevitably demand the

right to do the same. This could quickly lead to the unraveling of the agreement, as other parties pull their offers

on sensitive products, or their concessions on sensitive issues, off the table."

The Trans-Pacific Partnership right now includes the U.S., Japan, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. However, there are prospects that China and Taiwan could become part of the negotiations. China's inclusion and the potential that it too demand special agricultural preferences was noted by the farm groups in the letter to Froman. Moreover, this situation could spill over into the Atlantic and talks with the European Union.

"As the TPP expands to include other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, we can expect other countries with sensitivities in the agricultural sector, such as China, to make similar demands. Moreover, a weak agreement with Japan would inevitably have significant negative implications for our ability to reach an acceptable agreement with the EU in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations."

The deal with Japan could affect billions of dollars in future exports and thousands of jobs, the groups noted. Thus, if Japan can't come to terms with a more liberal trade package on agriculture, then the American agricultural sector wants Japan culled from the TPP or key players in the U.S. farm lobby would find it difficult to support a final trade deal.

A copy of the letter, with the full list of groups signing on, can be found on the National Pork Producers Council website,…

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN.

Posted at 7:08AM CST 12/19/13 by Chris Clayton
Post a Blog Comment:
Your Comment:
DTN reserves the right to delete comments posted to any of our blogs and forums, for reasons including profanity, libel, irrelevant personal attacks and advertisements.
Blog Home Pages
November  2015
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30               
Subscribe to Ag Policy Blog RSS
Recent Blog Posts
  • FAA Task Force Releases Recommendations on UAS Registration
  • Groups Ask Senate Leaders to Defend Crop Insurance
  • FDA Approves Genetically Engineered Salmon as Groups Quickly Move to Sue
  • Groups Push for Greater Biotech Oversight
  • Sweetening up the National Discourse by Fighting Over Sugar
  • Tax Committees Signal Agreement on Some Tax Extenders
  • Plans to Cut Crop Insurance Got You Down? Let's Talk
  • House Rejects Heavier Semi-Trailer Weights on Interstates
  • House Highway Bill is Eastbound and Down
  • Senators Get Floor Debate on WOTUS
  • USDA Rolls Out New Website for Young and Beginning Farmers
  • Crop Insurance Cuts Reversed
  • Crop Insurance Cuts Could Put Budget Deal in Jeopardy
  • Researchers Create Headlines Tying Processed and Red Meat to Cancer
  • Vilsack Pushing on TPP; USDA Invests in Rural Power Grid
  • FAA to Require Drone Registration
  • The Brief War on Pork
  • Senator: When Are ARC and PLC Checks Going Out?
  • Sixth Circuit WOTUS Ruling Hailed as Ag Victory
  • Sequester Cuts and Other Farm Program Disparities