By Bruce Cochrane
The National Pork Producers Council says, unless Japan significantly alters its demands, U.S. agriculture will not be in a position to support the Trans Pacific Partnership.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a proposed 12 nation free trade agreement intended to enhance trade.
Nick Giordano, the vice president and council for international affairs with the National Pork Producers Council, says this is supposed to be a high level 21st century agreement but the number of exemptions from tariff elimination Japan is asking for are almost three times greater than the tariff exemptions contained in all 17 free trade agreements the U.S. has implemented since 2000.
Nick Giordano-National Pork Producers Council:
We collectively speaking, U.S. agriculture, can not accept the deal as proposed by Japan.
We need a significantly revised proposal from Japan in order for the TPP to have support in Congress because right now pork producers don't support the deal on the table from Japan and all of the so-called sensitive sectors that Japan has identified, pork, beef, dairy, wheat, rice, non of them can support the deal on the table and that means there's not support in the U.S. Congress and increasingly influential members on trade in the U.S. Congress are speaking out so it's a big problem.
Bottom line is we want to see Japan stay in TPP but that requires a revised proposal from Japan.
For pork it means elimination of the gate price and all tariffs and for the products collectively it means a much improved offer and significant market access for U.S. ag.
Giordano says, if one country is enabled to disproportionally protect its sensitive sectors, other countries will seek similar concessions which could have implications beyond agriculture and, if the TPP can even be kept together, it will not be the high standard 21st century agreement originally envisioned.