The National Pork Producers Council welcomes reports that the United States and Japan will commence trade negotiations on April 15, and urged the Trump administration to expeditiously complete and deliver for ratification to Congress a trade deal that puts U.S. pork producers back on a level playing field in Japan.
“U.S. pork producers are losing market share in Japan to international competitors that have recently negotiated more favorable trade terms in our most valuable market,” says David Herring, NPPC’s president and a pork producer from Lillington, N.C. “We are already seeing a decline in sales to Japan and will see market loss accelerate if we don’t quickly secure competitive access to Japan.”
Six countries — Canada, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam — have implemented the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement of Trans-Pacific Partnership and gained more favorable access to Japan. These countries and other CPTPP implementing countries will see access to Japan steadily improve over the next 10 years. Japan’s recently implemented trade deal with the European Union effectively mirrors the CPTPP agreement.
According to Dermot Hayes, an economist at Iowa State University, U.S. pork will see exports to Japan grow from $1.6 billion in 2018 to more than $2.2 billion over the next 15 years if the United States quickly gains access on par with international competitors. Hayes reports that U.S. pork shipments to Japan will drop to $349 million if a trade deal on these terms is not quickly reached with Japan.
NPPC’s director of international affairs, Maria Zieba, will address U.S. pork’s position on the trade negotiation with Japan at the Washington International Trade Association’s “Future of U.S.-Japan Trade” panel on April 3. A position paper by Nick Giordano, NPPC’s vice president and counsel, global government affairs, can be found here.
U.S. pork can’t afford loss of Mexican market
The NPPC also addresses trade issues that may arise in the border battle with Mexico. The NPPC asks the Trump administration to carefully consider the fallout from cutting off trade between the United States and Mexico. U.S. pork producers and other American farmers are already facing mounting financial losses from retaliatory tariffs by Mexico and China.
Herring spoke of the lingering issue in the following NPPC statement:
“A cloud of uncertainty and restricted access to our most important export markets have strained U.S. pork producers and their families for more than a year. The value of our exports to Mexico and China are down 28% and 32%, respectively, this year. We are at the breaking point and cannot afford a total loss of the Mexican market, one that accounted for more than 20% of total U.S. pork exports last year.
“While we recognize the importance of border security, we respectfully ask the Trump administration to proceed cautiously and consider the implications of cutting off trade with a market that is so vital for rural America. We urge the administration to end current trade disputes and to focus its efforts on the upcoming trade negotiation with Japan and the expansion of export markets for U.S. agriculture, an economic sector that reduces the U.S. trade deficit by producing some of America’s most competitive export products.”