The Ag Minute: Inclusion of Japan Underscores Need for Ambitious Outcome in Pacific Trade Talks

Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184

WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, Rep. Doug LaMalfa discusses the potential benefits of Japan joining the ongoing negotiations of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). With the addition of Japan, the TPP would consist of 12 countries, which includes the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada, and Mexico. The TPP is designed to enhance trade and investment among the participating nations. Japan is a large, valuable market, but historically has been difficult to access for U.S. agricultural exports.

Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.

"Hello, this is Congressman Doug LaMalfa of California. I'm a member of the U.S. House Ag Committee."

"The recent news that the administration concluded bilateral discussions with Japan for their inclusion in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) may be good news for U.S. agricultural exports. This is especially true for the U.S. rice industry, but only if Japan is committed to a comprehensive and ambitious outcome.

"The very foundation of any trade negotiation is the objective to break down tariff and non-tariff trade barriers, such as those faced by our agricultural exports to Japan. The arrival of Japan to these negotiations presents an opportunity to open further export markets for our high quality rice and other agricultural products.

"Japan is the second largest export market for U.S. rice and the largest export destination for rice produced in California, with about $250 million in sales annually, however the TPP agreement must significantly improve access for U.S. rice.

"The administration has correctly repeated that our trade agreements must provide full and fair access.  Now that Japan has formally announced its intention to join the Trans Pacific Agreement, we expect any final agreement to follow these principles and include additional market access for rice." 

The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.