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LDP compiles agricultural measures to cope with TPP

  • 2015-11-16 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
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(Asahi: November 14, 2015 – p. 7)


 By Shigeo Ohata


 The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) compiled its draft TPP measures for the agricultural sector on Nov. 13. It included measures to improve competitiveness and maintain profitability, such as through promotion of exports, because producers are likely to be adversely affected by the abolition or reduction of tariff on agricultural products. These measures will be approved officially as soon as Nov. 17 and will be reflected in the FY2015 supplementary budget or the FY2016 regular budget.


 Approximately 80% of tariff on agricultural products will be abolished after the TPP accord takes effect. The draft proposals included “training and assistance for farmers with business acumen” and “reduction of production cost and improvement of quality through such measures as expansion of cultivation area.” Construction of farm roads and other public work projects, which have come under criticism, were not included.


 With regard to rice, for which new import quotas will be created for the U.S. and Australia, the LDP proposes additional government purchase of domestic rice as reserves equivalent to the increased import volume. This is meant to prevent price decline in the domestic rice market by not increasing the volume in circulation.


 The LDP will compile the urgently needed measures to ensure stable income for farmers by Nov. 17, while the remaining measures for human resources development, improvement of competitiveness, and so forth will be decided by fall next year.


 Shinjiro Koizumi, head of the Agriculture and Forestry Division, stated on Nov. 13: “We will refrain from senseless spending in this process,” in light of concerns that agricultural measures may turn into pork barrel spending.

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