U.S. Chief Negotiator and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Barbara Weisel reports that building on the consensus the TPP countries have already achieved on a significant number of the issues under negotiation. Key areas of debate include technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary measures – also a strong concern of the USDEC.
"The U.S. dairy industry sees real value in the TPP negotiations if we are able to open new markets, like Japan and Canada, use the TPP process to strengthen global trading rules and secure meaningful competition policy changes in New Zealand's dairy sector," Suber said.
The group has already led a broad coalition calling for effective disciplines on the application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures in TPP negotiations, which place greater reliance on science-based regulations and are fully enforceable, while also going beyond the World Trade Organization’s SPS Agreement on these and related issues.
Negotiations expected to wrap up before 2014
The office of the U.S. Trade Representative says the negotiations will be on an accelerated track toward conclusion of a comprehensive agreement in the 2013 time frame as envisioned by President Obama and the Leaders of the ten other TPP countries.
"We call on the United States and the other TPP countries to quickly welcome Japan into the TPP. We look forward to working closely with the Obama administration and Congress to fashion an agreement that pork producers can strongly endorse," Spronk said.
The TPP negotiations include the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, which account for a combined 30 percent of global GDP. Japan already has free trade agreements with seven of the 11 TPP countries: Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Thailand has also expressed interest in joining the talks. The 16th round of TPP negotiations wrapped up Wednesday, and the 17th round of TPP negotiations will be held in Lima, Peru, from May 15-24.