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U.S. pork industry chief eager for early trade deal with Japan after Trump’s TPP withdrawal

  • June 13, 2017
  • , The Japan Times
  • English Press

A U.S. pork industry leader has expressed strong hopes to see Washington and Tokyo quickly strike a free trade agreement, following the decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw America from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

 

“We would be satisfied if we could just get what was in the TPP,” Ken Maschhoff, president of the National Pork Producers Council, said in an interview.

 

Maschhoff said the U.S. pork industry was very disappointed by Trump’s decision to pull out of the TPP, after the countries involved had discussed the free trade deal for years.

 

But he noted that the United States is unlikely to return to the TPP despite calls from Japan, adding that “the next best thing for us” is to have a bilateral trade agreement with Japan, the biggest export market for U.S. pork.

 

In the TPP negotiations, the U.S. pork industry saw some setbacks as Japan was allowed to maintain the gate price system designed to block imports of low-priced pork by setting special heavy tariffs, although the U.S. side called for its abolition.

 

Still, Maschhoff said that “we were satisfied with the TPP,” stressing that “we’d like the same agreement negotiated” between the U.S. and Japanese governments.

 

In the Japanese market, U.S. pork has recently faced stiff competition from Canadian, Danish and Spanish products.

The U.S. industry is concerned that American pork could be at a disadvantage in terms of tariffs if the TPP takes effect without the United States, or if Japan and the European Union clinch their envisaged economic partnership agreement.

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