February 13, 2017
US beef, pork producers' groups urge FTA with Japan
The US National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPCC) have urged the Trump administration to ink a free trade agreement with Japan, saying this would lower tariffs and reduce barriers for their products.
The two groups sent a joint letter to the White House asking the President to "initiate free trade agreement negotiations with nations in the Asia-Pacific region beginning with Japan".
"As you continue to lead America forward, we want to be a resource for your administration for possible strategies in improving existing and future trade agreements for the benefit of our producers", the letter stated.
The letter was issued ahead of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's state visit to the US last weekend.
NCBA President Craig Uden, a cattle rancher from Elwood, Nebraska, said a comprehensive agreement with Japan would result in "one of the greatest trade agreements for the US pork and beef industries and for many other sectors".
For his part, NPPC President John Weber, a pork producer from Dysart, Iowa, said securing strong market access to Japan and other Asian markets "is a priority for the US beef and pork industries".
Japan is the highest-value international market for US beef and pork exports. In fiscal 2016, Japanese consumers purchased $1.4 billion of US beef products and $1.5 billion of US pork products. Demand in the Asian nation for US beef and pork is very strong despite Japanese tariffs and other import measures that limit market access for both products.