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Froman, Vilsack Tout Benefits of TPP; Japan Expected to Hold TPP Vote Soon

Friday, January 22, 2016

(North American Meat Institute)

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman last week underscored the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a “strategic imperative” during a speech at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC. Froman said TPP, which includes 12 Asia-Pacific Rim countries covering more than 40 percent of the global economy, would cut over 18,000 foreign taxes on U.S. exports, including agricultural goods, and would support thousands of high-paying jobs in the U.S. Froman also stressed TPP would strengthen America’s economy and safeguard its national security, while driving growth and increasing U.S. competitiveness abroad. Delaying the approval of TPP, Froman warned, would be costly in both economic terms and with regards to U.S. leadership. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack further cautioned Congress against rejecting TPP, stating such action would give China an opening to negotiate an all-Asia agreement with weaker labor and environmental standards.

Meanwhile, Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae said Japan will soon try to ratify the TPP to provide momentum to the deal in the U.S. Congress. The Japanese Diet—the country’s legislature—is in session until June and could consider the agreement in the spring before it adjourns for upper house elections scheduled this summer.

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