Senators Say Japan Needs to Eliminate Tariffs

P. Scott Shearer, Vice President

March 3, 2014

1 Min Read
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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About the Author(s)

P. Scott Shearer

Vice President, Bockorny Group, Inc.

Scott Shearer is vice president of the Bockorny Group Inc., a leading bipartisan government affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C. With more than 30 years experience in government and corporate relations in state and national arenas, he is recognized as a leader in agricultural trade issues, having served as co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for U.S.-China Trade and co-chairman of the Agricultural Coalition for Trade Promotion Authority. Scott was instrumental in the passage of China Permanent Normal Trade Relations and TPA. He is past chairman of the USDA-USTR Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products and was a member of the USAID Food Security Advisory Committee. Prior to joining the Bockorny Group, Scott served as director of national relations for Farmland Industries Inc., as well as USDA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs (1993-96), serving as liaison for the Secretary of Agriculture and the USDA to Congress.

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