Just last week, the National Pork Producers Council joined with dairy, wheat and rice organizations in calling on the Obama administration to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations without Japan unless that nation agrees to provide significant market access for the United States.
NPPC Vice President for International Affairs Nick Giordano says for U.S. pork that means elimination of Japan’s gate price system and all tariffs. “The TPP is the most important trade negotiation ever for our sector,” said Giordano. “Producers frankly can’t allow Japan to steal their bacon.”
The TPP is a regional negotiation that includes the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. However, Japan is unwilling to abolish tariffs in a number of agricultural sectors including dairy, sugar, rice, beef, pork, wheat and barley.
“This is unprecedented,” says Giordano. “It opens the door to potentially leaving agriculture out of FTAs – it’s bad, bad, bad.”Interview with NPPC's Nick Giordano
We can expect to hear more about trade issues at World Pork Expo this week, especially when Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visits on Thursday.
Check out the 2014 World Pork Expo photo album.