Senators Say Japan Needs to Eliminate Tariffs

A group of senators are calling on Japan to eliminate tariff and non-tariff trade barriers for U.S. agricultural products as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Michael Froman, eighteen senators asked for assurances that the TPP negotiations “will not be concluded” until Japan agrees to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers for agricultural products. 

The  letter to the USTR stated their concern that Japan has yet to make a comprehensive offer on agricultural talks that would increase access for U.S. agricultural products in Japan.


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They said, “The lack of a comprehensive agreement would undermine the Administration’s goal of significantly increasing market access for U.S. agricultural products in TPP party countries.”  Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) coordinated the letter.

 A number of agriculture groups and businesses wrote Ambassador Froman in February calling for a comprehensive and highly ambitious agreement in which all countries agree to eliminate tariffs, as well as non-tariff barriers to trade in goods, services and investment. 

The group said every country has “sensitive sectors but all countries need to offer concessions on sensitive items to reach a high-quality agreement.”

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