Senators Urge USTR to Seek Ag Agreement with Japan in TPP Talks

A bipartisan group of Senators is urging U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to negotiate a comprehensive and acceptable agreement with Japan that will increase market access for all agricultural products as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks. In a letter sent Friday - the Senators - led by Iowa's Chuck Grassley and Colorado's Michael Bennet - expressed concern that Japan hasn't made a comprehensive offer on agricultural talks that would increase access for U.S. agricultural products in Japan. They said the lack of a comprehensive agreement would undermine the Administration's goal of significantly increasing market access for U.S. agricultural products in TPP party countries.

The Senators note the U.S. has requested and received full and comprehensive liberalization in the agricultural sector from developed and developing countries in previous trade negotiations. By requesting special treatment for its agricultural sector in the TPP - they said Japan may upset the careful balance of concessions the 11 economies involved in the negotiations have achieved. The Senators also point out that other countries with sensitivities in the agricultural sector may make similar demands if Japan continues to insist on protecting certain agricultural products.

The other Senators signing the letter were Mark Pryor, Joe Donnelly, Kay Hagan, Mark Udall, Pat Roberts, John Cornyn, James Inhofe, Mark Kirk, John Thune, Mike Johanns, John Boozman, Roy Blunt, Rob Portman, Deb Fischer, Richard Burr and Jerry Moran.

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