Beef industry stands firm in TTP negotiations

Farm Forum

Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) held a press conference on March 13 to discuss the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations with specific focus on Japan’s unwillingness to negotiate on all agricultural products, including beef and pork.

“Japan seems to believe that they’re entitled to keep five sacred agriculture products off the table,” said Grassley, stating his strong opposition to Japan’s negotiation position. “The third largest economy in the world can’t make protectionist moves like that without it having a ripple effect.”

Accompanying Sen. Grassley were speakers from American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Oilseed Processors Association, and U.S. Wheat Associates.

Bob McCan, president of NCBA, said Japan is a top export market for the United States having sold $1.4 billion of beef in 2013. He said NCBA supports Japan’s inclusion in TPP, but not with special clauses.

“Japan does not deserve special treatment and must be treated the same as all of the other TPP countries,” said the cattle producer from Victoria, Texas. “If the United States is going to open its market to competition from other TPP countries, then so should Japan. NCBA will support a TPP agreement with Japan as long as the terms are based on full market access and sound science.”

McCan added that if the United States accepts Japan’s TPP offer, it would have long-lasting negative consequences for U.S. farmers and for agricultural jobs and, just as important, for future U.S. free trade agreements.