Japanese Farmers Bracing for Liberalization Demand from U.S.

Economy Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 27 (Jiji Press)--Japanese agricultural groups are bracing for a possible U.S. demand for market-opening measures in bilateral goods trade negotiations that Tokyo and Washington have agreed to start.

The groups are concerned that the U.S. side will step up pressure on Japan to liberalize markets for beef and rice, in which U.S. farmers are highly competitive, industry sources said.

By contrast, the Japanese automobile industry is relieved to see that Washington agreed not to impose additional tariffs on Japanese vehicles while the negotiations are under way.

So far, Japan has repeated its policy of not liberalizing its markets for U.S. products more than the levels agreed under the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade agreement, a senior agriculture ministry official said.

The government sought support from domestic farmers for its "free, fair and reciprocal," or FFR, trade talks with the United States launched earlier this year, saying that the FFR talks would be used to encourage the United States to return to the TPP framework.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press