Friday, September 26, 2014

Japan and U.S. fail to reach trade deal

Trade negotiators for the United States and Japan failed during two days of talks in Washington.

That means the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks are also at an impasse.

That spells disappointment for Canada’s pork, beef, grain and fruit farmers who hope to gain markets, especially in Japan.

But it’s welcome news for dairy and poultry farmers who once again escape steep tariff cuts that would force them to reduce their prices and cope with much lower profit margins.

Japan’s Economy Minister Akira Amari and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman met for two days, trying to strike a deal that would open the door for resumed progress with 12 nations involved in the Trans-Pacific negotiations.

The National Pork Producers Council in the U.S. wants a deal that will open markets for its pork and says the talks ought to continue without Japan unless and until it yields on agricultural trade.

It has said the same thing about opening Canada’s dairy and poultry markets by substantially lowering tariffs.

U.S. pork exports have quadrupled since 2000 as a result of other trade agreements, the national council said.

“The TPP could result in even greater gains for U.S. pork, but Japan is the key,” it said.

 After failing to make progress, both sides will consider next steps following consultations in both capitals,” the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said.