At the end of November, NPC joined over 100 other agriculture organizations in filing comments on the recently-announced Japan Free Trade Agreement. This information is intended to assist the Office of the Trade Representative in organizing its agriculture priorities in advance of the beginning of formal negotiations.
“Under the (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement and the EU-Japan FTA, Japan has committed to reduce and ultimately eliminate tariffs on fries and other potato products for other major potato exporting nations including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and those in Europe. To ensure the U.S. potato industry is not at a competitive disadvantage, it is important that to secure the elimination of all tariffs on U.S. potato exports in the trade agreement with Japan,” said the November 26th letter.
The Administration has recently announced its intention to negotiate a bilateral FTA with Japan after pulling out of the multi-lateral Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement early last year. Under the TPP, a number of agricultural tariff concessions were granted for U.S. exports including potatoes. The remaining countries in the TPP have moved forward with its implementation absent the U.S.