Five U.S. agricultural groups urged President Barack Obama’s administration Wednesday to conclude a U.S.-led Pacific free trade pact without Japan unless Tokyo stops insisting on exceptional tariffs on some farm produces.
The National Pork Producers Council and four other primary industry lobby groups made the call a day before the Japanese and U.S. governments resume the working-level talks in Washington over their differences on agricultural produce in the envisioned Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative.
The pork council said the five groups are urging the government to “conclude the TPP negotiations without Japan unless that nation agrees to provide significant market access for the United States.”
In their joint statement, meanwhile, the five groups, also including the International Dairy Foods Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the USA Rice Federation and the U.S. Wheat Association, said, “U.S. negotiators still have a chance to push Japan to provide meaningful agricultural market access in the agreement.”
“Failing that, the alternative is suspending negotiations with Japan for now and concluding a truly comprehensive agreement with those TPP partners that are willing to meet the originally contemplated level of ambition,” they said.