NPPC and NCBA Letter to President Trump on FTA with Japan

February 7, 2017

Click here to read the letter.

February 7, 2017

United States President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Pork Producers Council
(NPPC) commend your strong stand on trade, and we urge you to initiate free trade agreement
negotiations with nations in the Asia-Pacific region beginning with Japan. As you continue to
lead America forward, we want to be a resource for your administration for possible strategies in
improving existing and future trade agreements for the benefit of our producers.

 
Japan is our highest value international market for both beef and pork exports. In fiscal 2016,
Japanese consumers purchased $1.4 billion of U.S. beef products and $1.5 billion of U.S. pork
products. There is strong demand for U.S. beef and pork in Japan, and our presence in Japan’s
market could be much larger with the reduction or elimination of tariffs and other import
measures. Under terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, Japan’s 38.5 percent
tariff on fresh and frozen beef would have been cut to 9 percent over the phase-in period and
would have provided us parity with Australia in the Japanese market. Japan’s tariffs on pork,
which are determined through a so-called gate price system, would have been substantially
reduced as part of the TPP agreement.

 
Analysis by the U.S. International Trade Commission found that beef exports to TPP countries
would grow by $876 million per year by the end of the phase-in period and that most of that
growth would be in trade to Japan. Likewise, it found that pork exports to TPP countries would
grow by $387 million, with most again being to Japan. Nearly 9,000 U.S. jobs would be
generated by the increase in exports of livestock products, according to USDA’s export
multiplier.

 
While we may not agree with the decision to withdraw from the TPP, we respect that this is the
position of the U.S. government, and we request that you prioritize securing strong market access
to Asia-Pacific markets for U.S. beef and pork exports. A successful, comprehensive agreement
with Japan would result in one of the greatest trade agreements for the U.S. pork and beef
industries and for many other sectors, as well. It would also help stimulate interest among other
former TPP members and Asia-Pacific nations in their own bilateral agreements with the United
States. We realize that our competitors are doing their best to secure preferential trade
agreements in many of these markets, and we are concerned that if we do not act soon, we will
fall further behind our competitors in these important markets. It is out of this sense of urgency
that we respectfully request a meeting with you to discuss our trade priorities and provide you
with our recommendations.

 
Securing strong market access to Japan and other Asian markets is a priority for the U.S. beef
and pork industries, and we appreciate your leadership and dedication to making our products the
most competitive around the world.

 

Sincerely,

 

John Weber and Craig Uden