AGRIBUSINESS: Ag Groups Support Addition of Japan to TPP Negotiations

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced his country’s intention to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

The American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council are supporting the addition of Japan as a negotiating partner in the TPP. Farm Bureau says Japan would bolster the reach of the TPP for U.S. agriculture. Noting Japan was the fourth-largest U.S. ag export market with nearly $14 billion in purchases in 2012 – Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says Japan is crucial to America’s farmers and ranchers. He says both the United States and Japan will benefit from Japan being a TPP partner – and by sharing in improved sanitary and phytosanitary standards for agricultural trade and expanded market access with TPP nations.

According to NPPC President Randy Spronk – the addition of Japan to the talks will exponentially increase the importance of the TPP to pork producers and other sectors of the U.S. economy. NPPC urged the U.S. and other TPP countries to swiftly accept the Asian nation into the negotiations.

Stallman does say new entrants to the TPP need to recognize this is a comprehensive agreement – and that individual sectors should not be excluded from the negotiation. He says the TPP provides an opportunity to strengthen trade relationships, address remaining barriers and improve the competitiveness of the Asia/Pacific market.

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