(Posted Fri. Apr 12th, 2013)
Apr. 12: The National Corn Growers Association applauds today’s announcement that the United States has concluded preliminary consultations to approve Japan’s participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. Japan announced its intention to join TPP last month. Since November 2011, U.S. negotiators have held discussions with Japan regarding the comprehensive, high-standard agreement.
Japan must secure the approval of all current TPP members before it can participate in future rounds of talks. NCGA has consistently expressed support for Japan joining TPP negotiations as a full partner. In March, NCGA joined more than 70 agriculture organizations to send a letter to President Barack Obama urging the administration to work with Japan to facilitate Japan’s full participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership.
“Japan’s interest in joining TPP represents a historic opportunity for U.S.-Japan trade relations,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chairman Jim Zimmerman. “U.S. corn farmers value Japan as an important trade partner, and we are glad to see their commitment to expanding trade opportunities in all sectors.”
NCGA believes bringing Japan to the table would spur even greater interest among other Asia-Pacific countries, which could lead to the type of regional agreement envisioned by TPP partners.
U.S. food and agricultural exports to Japan totaled $13.5 billion in 2012. Japan is the United States’ number one export market for corn, importing 453 million bushels of U.S. corn in the 2011-2012 crop year. In recent years, Japan and other Asia-Pacific countries have become growing markets for distillers grains, a co-product of ethanol production.
The negotiations currently include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.