Posted September 30, 2014
Trade talks with Japan experienced a bumpy week when both countries blamed the other for a “stalemate over farm exports,” according to a Reuters article by Krista Hughes and Linda Sieg available here. Wisconsin Ag Connection also published their article hereand Cattle Network here, and Feedstuffs published an article available here.
On Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman and Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari met in Washington to discuss bilateral Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.
“While there were constructive working level discussions over the weekend, we were unable to make further progress on the key outstanding issues,” USTR said in a statement, according to Feedstuffs.
The TPP is a regional trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim countries, including Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States, which makes up for almost 40 percent of global GDP.
U.S. pork producers believe the Japanese are to blame for the halt in negotiations, according to Reuters.
The Japanese have been, and continue to be, holding up the entire negotiation. They’ve got to fish or cut bait,” said Nick Giordano, National Pork Producers Council vice president.
U.S. President Barack Obama anticipates a TPP agreement by the end of the year, but others are not so sure.
“There will have to come a time that the U.S. realizes that unless they are flexible, they will not have a package, or else they (negotiations) may continue for an indefinite time,” said a Japanese government source.
At a Friday meeting, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed both sides could do more on TPP, and Biden said that he would go back to work to find a solution.
For more information on international trade, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.