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Progress Reported on Some TPP Issues, but Remains Slow on Ag Market Access

Encouraging progress was made on certain issues at the latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in Hanoi, Vietnam, according to a brief USTR statement. But the outlook from two days of bilateral talks between the U.S. and Japan was not as optimistic – especially with regard to market access for U.S. pork and beef. Japan’s deputy chief negotiator told reporters that the two sides had not made as much progress as expected, and that the gaps on these issues were still too significant to bring the bilateral talks to a ministerial level.

Earlier in the week, the National Pork Producers Council was joined by pork producer associations from Canada, Australia, Chile and Mexico in calling for a TPP agreement “in which full tariff elimination is achieved for virtually all products, including pork.” The groups added, “If Japan is unwilling to open its markets fully to our products, it should exit the negotiations so that the other nations can expeditiously conclude the negotiations.”