El govern japonès ha estat considerant durant 18 mesos si voleu unir-se a 11 altres països en les negociacions per a un acord de lliure comerç Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP-TLC). New Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received assurances from President Obama last week that they would not be required to unilaterally give up all tariffs as a precondition to joining the talks. This should make it easier to convince government leaders to support joining, però ha deixat altres participants preguntant si Senyor. Abe és seriosos sobre de canviar les polítiques per als productes agrícoles.

Que va dir el comunicat pels dos Presidents al tancament de la seva reunió de la Casa Blanca, "... .should de Japó participar en les negociacions de TPP, all goods would be subject to negotiation…” That is consistent with the November 2011 Esquema de TPP líders de l'acord incloent-hi, “… Accés al mercat global: to eliminate tariffs and other barriers to goods and services trade and investment…” The outline seemed to be straight forward that tariffs would be eliminated over time, Potser deu anys, però la llengua dels dos Presidents que deixa més ambigu.

Aquest és un moment incòmode per l'u. i el Japó. Japan has not officially asked to join the negotiations and the U.S. has not indicated it would support Japan joining the talks. The November 2011 Declaració de lideratge convidats d'altres països a unir-se i Canadà i Mèxic va fer l'estiu de 2012 after gaining approval from each of the existing nine countries. The joint statement from the White House said, "Mentre que el progrés s'ha fet en aquestes consultes, més restes de treball per fer, incloent destacats preocupacions respecte a sector automoció i d'assegurances, abordar altres mesures no aranzelàries, i completar el treball pel que fa a alts estàndards TPP. "

Com importadors tercera del món de menjar després de l'u. i UE, Japan buys food from most of the TPP countries. On a calories-consumed basis Japan annually imports 60 percentatge de l'aliment que mengen els seus 128 milions de persones. Japan uses tariff and nontariff barriers to restrict imports for raw agricultural products and further processed foods. The WTO just completed its quadrennial Trade Policy Review of Japan in February. The WTO Secretariat’s report prepared for the review shows why Japan’s trading partners want wholesale changes in agricultural policies.

Segons l'organització per la cooperació i el desenvolupament, calcula citat en l'informe WTO, Suport de govern del Japó per l'agricultura era igual a 1.1 percent of its GDP in 2006-08. Most of that support is in price supports which combined with production restrictions result in consumers paying about 71 per cent més menjar del que es basa en preus de mercat mundial.

La tarifa mitjana aplicada per l'agricultura era 17.5 per cent per a lexercici FY 2012 en comparació amb una mitjana global de 6.3 per cent, amb productes lactis, verdures, sugar and cereals having the highest rates. Non-ad valorem (quantitat fixa) les tarifes són sovint més que percentatge més moderat (ad valorem) tarifes. Dairy products are included in a category that has simple average tariffs of 56 per cent amb la tarifa superior de 410 per cent. Eighty four percent of the tariff lines in that category are considered tariff peaks at more than three times the simple average of overall applied tariff rates, i 61 percent have non-ad valorem tariffs. Sugar and sugar confectionaries have an average tariff of 42 per cent, una tarifa màxima de 219 per cent, 69 percentatge de les línies són tarifa cims i 59 percentatge de línies tenen tarifes valorem de no-anunci.

Altres productes amb altes tarifes inclouen verdures al 34 per cent, fresat els productes de la indústria com Malta, midons, i gluten de blat a 31 per cent, preparatius de cereals, farina, midó o llet’ productes a 26 per cent, cacau a 24 per cent i cereals al 22 per cent. Price and volume based special safeguards are used on imported products when import volumes increase too rapidly or market prices are depressed by imports. Price support for pork is provided through a gate price system where the Agriculture and Livestock Industries Corporation buys when wholesale prices are below the “preu més baix d'estabilització” i allibera les existències quan els preus que superen el “preu superior estabilització”. Beef has a simple 38.5 Tarifa ad valorem per cent del valor importats.

Arròs encara representa 25 percent of agricultural production. The government uses supply-demand adjustment measures to set a volume cap for production and government purchase and selling prices for rice are determined by tender. A rice diversion program pays farmers to use rice paddies for purposes other than growing rice.

Making changes all at once in these programs and many more would not be politically or administratively possible. Prime Minister Abe was asking President Obama to acknowledge that reality. That collection of market controls was developed over the last 60 years and will not be undone overnight. But allowing that complex of regulations to last more than a few years under some type of transition would betray the high standards 21-century free trade agreement goal that the eleven countries of TPP in November 2011 proposar aconseguir.

Japan joining the talks would definitely slow down the negotiating process. At the November 2011 Reunió de caps, optimists had hope to have an agreement by the end of 2012. That deadline has since slipped to the end of 2013 i certament traslladaria a 2014 or later unless Japan automatically accepted much of the work already completed. The desire of the Prime Minister to win a majority in elections this July for the upper house of Japan’s legislature will probably delay the decision making process to join the TPP-FTA negotiations.

The status quo in Japanese agriculture will not yield easily. It has resisted pressure from the U.S. and other trading countries both inside the GATT and WTO negotiations and in one-on-one regulatory reform efforts. Every time Mr. Abe va demanar una mica més de flexibilitat, Sr.. Obama should agree only if another large chunk of agricultural programs are wiped out in return. While farmers and ranchers from the U.S., Austràlia, Nova Zelanda, Xile i Malàisia guanyarà mercats, els grans beneficiaris seran els consumidors japonesos que estan pagant 71 per cent més del que haurien dels aliments que consumeixen cada dia.

Ross Korves és analista de política econòmica de la veritat sobre comerç & Tecnologia (www.truthabouttrade.org). Segueix-nos: @TruthAboutTrade a Twitter | Veritat sobre comerç & Tecnologia a Facebook.