AGRIBUSINESS: Pork Producers Ask President To Address Japan In TPP

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In mid-August the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) sent a letter to President Obama, asking U.S. negotiators in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks to work at eliminating Japan's gate price system, a complex maze of import tariffs for pork products.

According to NPPC, the gate price system is associated with fraud and criminal activity, and supports food prices within Japan at artificially high levels, prompting Japanese meat processors to relocate factories and jobs to other Asian countries.

For U.S. pork, Japan is the number one export market, representing about $2 billion in sales in 2013.

NPPC President Howard Hill believes Japanese offers currently on the table in the TPP would probably result in a modest increase in U.S. exports bound for Japan, but would ultimately "rob" the American pork industry of hundreds of millions of dollars in annual pork exports.