Source: National Pork Producers Council
Some Japanese lawmakers, in Washington, D.C., this week, say they are hopeful the United States will rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation Asia-Pacific regional trade deal that was concluded in October 2015.
On his first full day in office, President Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the country from the TPP. The remaining 11 TPP countries are moving ahead with implementing the agreement. While it is unlikely the White House will reverse course on the TPP, it has indicated it would like to negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement with Japan, a move strongly supported by the National Pork Producers Council.
Japan is the No. 1 export market for the U.S. pork industry, which last year shipped almost $1.6 billion of pork to the Asian nation. There is tremendous potential for increased U.S. pork exports to Japan if that nation’s protections are eliminated through an FTA, according to the NPPC. But if the United States does not negotiate a bilateral FTA with Japan, warns NPPC, exports of pork from the United States will decline as the European Union and other nations implement trade deals with Japan that give them a competitive advantage.
In addition to Japan, the NPPC is urging the administration to negotiate with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam and The Philippines.