02-07-17 NCBA-NPPC News: Trump Urged To Start Trade Talks With Japan

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NCBA-NPPC News: Trump Urged To Start Trade Talks With Japan

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 7, 2017 – Ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s state visit here, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council urged President Trump to begin negotiations on a free trade agreement with Japan.

In a joint letter transmitted today to the White House, NCBA and NPPC asked the president “to initiate free trade agreement negotiations with nations in the Asia-Pacific region beginning with Japan. … As you continue to lead America forward, we want to be a resource for your administration for possible strategies in improving existing and future trade agreements for the benefit of our producers.”

Abe will be in Washington Friday to meet with Trump on a number of matters, including security challenges and bilateral trade.

“A successful, comprehensive agreement with Japan would result in one of the greatest trade agreements for the U.S. pork and beef industries and for many other sectors,” said NCBA President Craig Uden, a cattle rancher from Elwood, Neb.

Said NPPC President John Weber, a pork producer from Dysart, Iowa, “Securing strong market access to Japan and other Asian markets is a priority for the U.S. beef and pork industries, and we appreciate the president’s leadership and dedication to making our products the most competitive around the world.”

For U.S. beef and pork exports, Japan is the highest value international market. In fiscal 2016, Japanese consumers purchased $1.4 billion of U.S. beef products and $1.5 billion of U.S. pork products. Demand in the Asian nation for U.S. beef and pork is very strong despite Japanese tariffs and other import measures that limit market access for both products.

Under terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, Japan’s 38.5 percent tariff on fresh and frozen beef would have been cut to 9 percent over the agreement’s phase-in period and would have given the U.S. beef industry parity with Australia in the Japanese market. Japan’s tariffs on pork, which are determined through a so-called gate price system, would have been substantially reduced as part of the TPP agreement.

An analysis by the U.S. International Trade Commission found that beef exports to TPP countries, which included the United States, Japan and 10 other Asia-Pacific nations, would grow by $876 million a year by the end of the phase-in period and that most of the growth would be in trade to Japan. Likewise, it found that pork exports to TPP countries would grow by $387 million, with most of the exports going to Japan. Nearly 9,000 U.S. jobs would be generated by increased exports of livestock products, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s export multiplier.

NCBA is the national trade association representing U.S. cattle producers, with more than 28,000 individual members and sixty-four state affiliate, breed and industry organization members. Together NCBA represents more than 230,000 cattle breeders, producers and feeders. NCBA works to advance the economic, political and social interests of the U.S. cattle business and to be an advocate for the cattle industry’s policy positions and economic interests.

NPPC is the global voice for the U.S. pork industry, protecting the livelihoods of America’s 60,000 pork producers, who abide by ethical principles in caring for their animals, in protecting the environment and public health and in providing safe, wholesome, nutritious pork products to consumers worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.nppc.org.