Japan In Uproar Over Rice Imports as TPP Talks Progress

Obama TPP Talks Progress

President Obama may have a fight boiling in Japan over TPP. Photo By Steve Jurvetson

President Obama is about to get a historic Free pass to negotiate trade “Fast Track Authority. But you don’t need a tarot reading to see what may be the harbinger of things to come with the current impasse with Japan’s Economic and Fiscal Policy minister Akira Amari who said he would budge on imports of American Rice to Japan in order to protect Japan’s farmers from cheaper rice from the US and abroad.

In just a few days, there will be a continuation of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) talks being held at a summit in Washington on the 28th. American negotiator who was sent ahead to smooth the way, Michael Froman.

President Obama is expected to meet with Prime Minister Abe and wants to put TPP as the key agenda item on his schedule.But, Japan is holding firm against rice but wants Auto Parts. So it looks like once again the president is attempting to open market for US goods and services when the people he is negotiating with have no desire to do so except to gain access to American markets.

TPP Rice Imports

Japan in uproar over TPP Rice Imports. Photo by Kevin Dooley

Japan wants America to open its car parts markets to Japan’s gigantic parts machine that could easily swamp the America’s auto parts industry.

You can see that this is a one-sided deal as the American economy stands to lose much more even if Japan gives in on the rice deal. As the amount of money made for the America farmer would be minuscule when compared to the loss of American jobs and the blow the auto industry will take when Obama puts ink to paper in a few days.

The congress, of course, has ultimate Yes/No authority on whatever deal is going to be struck. But they have ceded the right to change the terms to give the American worker a better deal.

The Japanese want Obama to lift the 2.5% tariff on auto parts, which would virtually allow them to bring their parts to the US tax-free and undersell American car manufacturers in this country. A tactic that in the 70’s and 80’s virtually ruined Detroit.

Today 7 out of every 10 cars are Japanese and made in their factories in this country. This dominance of the America car industry will be made complete when President Obama shakes hands with Prime Minister Abe in a few days.

WWII is now almost over and the Japanese have won the last battle.

Is this an example of what will happen when the other 11 nations of the TPP get what they want from signing on with Obama?

This begs another question. “Is there any benefit for Americans in the TPP deal?”

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In each two year session of the Bill Tracking SpyglassUnited States Congress roughly 10,000 bills and resolutions are brought under consideration, yet of that number only about 4% will actually become law. Government bills are proposed laws that are presented to the legislature by a member of Congress. These bills are many times proposed as measures that will benefit the area which the member of Congress represents. Sometimes these bills will be of a more general nature regionally, and even nationally.

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