(NHK Hokkaido News Web: March 5, 2016 – 6:47 a.m.)
A quarter of businesses in Hokkaido have expressed concerns about the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, NHK has learned.
NHK surveyed 1,000 companies in the prefecture about the TPP’s possible impact on their businesses. It received responses from 666 firms.
Asked whether the TPP will have an adverse impact on their businesses, 25% responded “yes,” 36% said “hardly any,” and 39% responded “not sure.”
Those who said they will benefit from the TPP only came to 16%.
According to the prefectural government, some machinery manufacturers are in favor of the TPP as they will be able to procure inexpensive foreign parts, but anxiety was expressed by food processing firms that they will face intense price competition with overseas rivals.
“Many companies are worried as they have no idea how much they will be impacted by the TPP,” said an official with the prefectural office. “We will address their concerns by providing advice and consultations.”