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What They’re Saying: U.S. Endorsement of Japan’s Participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

By Sanjana Dubey, Office of Public and Media Affairs

Many are heralding today’s Obama Administration endorsement of Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. This endorsement by the United States marks the successful completion of consultations between both nations concerning Japan’s readiness to meet the TPP’s high standards, and to address bilateral issues of concern. A final decision on Japan’s membership in the TPP will require a consensus by all 11 current TPP members. Ambassador Demetrios Marantis stated that Japan’s entry into this ambitious initiative will benefit the United States, Japan and the Asia-Pacific region, while supporting American jobs and upholding core U.S. values. Here’s a sampling of comments welcoming the news:

“This is encouraging news. Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks presents an extraordinary opportunity that could open up huge new markets to American goods and services. With Japan included, the TPP would account for nearly 40 percent of the global economy and provide a major shot in the arm to America’s manufacturing, business and agriculture industries. It will mean more jobs and faster growth in Montana and all across America.”

- Sen. Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance

“This is an important and welcome development. American goods and products have faced market access barriers to Japan for decades. Japan’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an historic opportunity to open up one of the world’s largest export markets to the benefit of both of our countries. By supporting Japan’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Administration must believe that Japan has the ability and political will to meet the high-standard, comprehensive commitments that have long defined U.S. trade agreements. I sincerely hope that is the case. I look forward to consulting closely with the Administration to ensure that our negotiations with Japan achieve real market access for American goods and services.”

- Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance

“I intend to continue my intensive consultations with the Administration on the TPP agreement. The bottom line is Japan must address its longstanding tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. exports – in particular on autos, insurance, and agriculture. I will not support Japan’s entry into TPP unless we obtain airtight assurances that Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations will neither diminish the comprehensive and ambitious nature of these negotiations nor delay the goal of concluding the negotiations this year.”

- Rep. Dave Camp, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means

“Japan’s participation in the TPP could greatly benefit U.S. companies, workers, farmers, and ranchers, but only if Japan meaningfully addresses its barriers to U.S. exports, particularly in the agriculture sector. I will work closely with USTR as this process continues. Japan must be prepared to meet TPP's highly ambitious and comprehensive obligations without slowing down the negotiations.”

- Rep. Devin Nunes, Chairman of the Trade Subcommittee of the House Committee on Ways and Means

“I congratulate Japanese and American leaders for taking this important step in deepening our already strong trade and diplomatic relationships. I look forward to a comprehensive agreement that lowers tariffs and includes science-based standards for market access. Japan recently removed some barriers to U.S. beef – we should build on that progress with a strong agreement that benefits our economy, farmers, and workers, as well as our negotiating partners.”

- Sen. Mike Johanns

“Today’s announcement marks a key development in the TPP negotiations. We are pleased that after months of bilateral discussions, Japan has expressed its readiness to put everything on the table and meet the high standards of a comprehensive TPP agreement. It is essential that the U.S. insist on that principle as a cornerstone for moving forward with TPP negotiations. The new framework includes real progress to open up Japan’s market for U.S. businesses, including in the automotive and insurance sectors and nontariff measures.”

- Rep. Ron Kind and the Chairs of the New Democrat Coalition Trade Task Force

“Today’s announcement represents a positive development which could expand market access for Nebraska exporters in one of the world’s largest economies. While Japan has shown progress and signaled a willingness to recognize science-based food standards, more work is needed. It is imperative the Administration and Congress continue to seek assurances Japan wants a comprehensive agreement in line with the ambitious goals established in current TPP negotiations. We cannot undermine gains in market access by allowing non-tariff trade barriers to prevent Nebraska producers from exporting their quality products.”

- Rep. Adrian Smith

“The agreement that U.S. negotiators have reached with Japan on a robust package of actions to address longstanding trade barriers is a positive step forward. As a result, the Chamber welcomes Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations pending agreement from remaining current TPP members."

- Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

“As the world’s third largest economy and a vital economic and security partner of the United States, Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations is a game changer that will enhance the agreement’s economic and strategic benefits for the United States and other participants while helping revitalize the Japanese economy. The combination of “Abenomics” and Japan’s entry into TPP presents a unique and historic opportunity to strengthen U.S.-Japan economic and strategic relations even more. We commend President Obama and Prime Minister Abe for taking this bold step.”

- Charles Lake, Chairman of the U.S.-Japan Business Council

“The U.S. wheat industry welcomes the announcement today by President Barack Obama that the United States will support Japan’s bid to become the 12th country to join Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations. Japan imports more U.S. wheat on average than any other country and the boards of directors for U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) passed a resolution in November 2011 stating support for Japan to join TPP.”

- U.S. Wheat Associates

"Business Roundtable applauds the U.S. government for welcoming Japan's participation in the TPP negotiations, and commends Japan's agreement to meet the high standards of the TPP. Japan is the world's third largest economy and its inclusion in the TPP would help maximize the benefits of the agreement to U.S. economic growth, goods and services exports and job creation. Business Roundtable supports Japan joining the TPP and continues to urge negotiators to pursue an ambitious and expeditious conclusion to the TPP."

- Doug Oberhelman, Chairman & CEO, Caterpillar Inc., and Chair of Business Roundtable’s International Engagement Committee

“Japan greatly enhances the potential value of the TPP to U.S. dairy producers and processors. Japan is the third-largest economy in the world and already a major dairy importer. Reducing excessive tariffs and removing non-tariff barriers to trade will significantly increase U.S. dairy export opportunities, which helps drive overall U.S. dairy industry growth.”

- Jaime Castaneda, senior vice president for strategic initiatives and trade policy, U.S. Dairy Export Council and National Milk Producers Federation

“The addition of Japan to the negotiations will exponentially increase the importance of the TPP to pork producers and to other sectors of the U.S. economy. Japan’s entry into the trade talkswill spur interest in the TPP among other countries in Asia and Latin America, and it will signal to other nations that efforts to negotiate more open and transparent trading arrangements will continue, even as multilateral efforts to do so are stymied.”

- Randy Spronk, President of the National Pork Producers Council

“Cattlemen and women are encouraged by the Obama administration’s announcement to include Japan in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) negotiations. Japan is an important ally to the United States and we hope this will strengthen the ties between our two nations. We urge the U.S. government and the government of Japan to continue working together to establish international trade standards based on sound science and market-driven principles. The TPP has the potential to be a new era in global trade where all TPP countries can compete for consumer demand without the hindrance of protectionism.”

- Bob McCan, President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

"We applaud Japan's inclusion in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Japan plays a large role in global financial markets and their inclusion in TPP negotiations will provide a more comprehensive agreement that will address barriers in financial services. SIFMA believes that for a 21st century TPP agreement, it must include a robust financial services chapter. Free trade agreements and the market access they provide are vital for the continued success of the financial services industry, its customers, shareholders and employees in the United States. The industry also plays a key role in the U.S. economy and should remain an integral part of our current trade agenda."

- Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr., Acting President and CEO of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association

“Japan is one of the United States’ most important export markets for consumer goods. Their addition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations is a boon to our efforts to craft a next-generation regional trade agreement that will liberalize trade and investment to the mutual benefit of TPP member countries for years to come. Facilitating free and fair trade opportunities that strengthen and diversify our economy, create jobs and provide consumers with the greatest selection of products at affordable prices is one of GMA’s top priorities. Japan’s participation in the TPP aligns with these objectives by further opening Japanese markets to American-made food, beverage and consumer products. We welcome Japan to the TPP and look forward to growing our already strong trading relationship with them.”

- Pamela G. Bailey, President and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association President and CEO