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TPP's impact on Japan's agriculture

Reporter: Terrence Terashima 丨 CCTV.com

12-08-2016 17:47 BJT

Japan's government has pushed hard for the approval of the TPP, hoping that it would be able to inject much needed vigour into the country's stagnant economy.

However,  US President-elect Donald Trump is opposed to the deal and everything will be up in the air after he takes office. Terrence Terashima has more.
Japanese upper house lawmakers continue to debate on ratifying the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade agreement, despite a fatal blow by the President Elect, Donald Trump, announcing that his first priority as a president will be to withdraw from the trade deal.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is under strong criticism for forcefully passing the TPP related bills through the lower house a day after Donald Trump was elected, knowing Trump’s position on the Trade Agreement.
Japanese farming communities have long opposed the TPP. Concerned that the trade pact will diminish country’s farms and agriculture.

However, it is looking likely that the TPP bills will be enacted on Friday

Constitutional provision states that bills can be automatically enacted after 30 days of passing the lower house, if the upper house fails to vote on it. And for the TPP related bills December 9th is the deadline

One of the reasons for Abe to continue in ratifying the trade deal is that his administration regards the TPP as a pillar of its growth strategy.

However, many experts say TPP will not bring about as much benefit as what the government has outlined, more so if the US pulls out of the agreement.

“Food is a fundamental strategic commodity that protects people’s lives. Like another country, Japan has to examine its domestic policies, such as boosting self-sufficiency rate. Before diving into reckless trade pact like the TPP. Removing the tariffs completely, or unifying investments and services now will only damage the Japanese agriculture than benefits. ” said Nobuhiro Suzuki,Ph.D Pro of Global Agriculture Sciences in Tokyo University.  

Many experts say Japan should now place more emphasis on Trade in Asia than pursuing a lame duck trade pact.

“The trade deals that has most merit for Japan is the China-Japan-ROK FTA, then the China-Japan-ROK plus ASEAN, and the RCEP that includes New Zealand and Australia. It is much more beneficial to look towards China, ROK and South-East Asia for trade partners. I calculate that bilateral FTA between China and Japan has as much merits as the 12 TPP countries put together” said Nobuhiro Suzuki.

Oppositions say it will be an embarrassment for Japan if the TPP fails to take affect, after continuing to push its ratification.
Some are already calling to pursue Abe’s responsibility if and when the trade pact fails. 

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