In this file:


·         Bilateral free trade pact with Japan a possibility, Pence says

·         Defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership not favorable for local cattle ranchers



Bilateral free trade pact with Japan a possibility, Pence says


by Kazuaki Nagata, The Japan Times

Apr 19, 2017


Visiting U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday officially opened the door to a bilateral free trade agreement with Japan, saying formal negotiations on such a move are possible.


After Pence and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso held the first round of their high-level economic dialogue, Pence said: “Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States seeks stronger and more balanced bilateral trade relationships with every country, including Japan.


“We seek trade that is free. We seek trade that is fair,” he said at a news conference at the Prime Minister’s Office. He added that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is “a thing in the past.”


Following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the TPP, Tokyo and Washington may be moving toward a bilateral pact in line with Trump’s preference against multilateral free trade deals. Earlier Tuesday, Pence said the Trump administration will also review and restyle a 5-year-old free trade agreement with South Korea.


Pence and Aso agreed to seek draft bilateral trade rules in coming talks.


The two countries will continue to discuss “a bilateral framework for setting high trade and investment standards; perspectives on trade and investment initiatives of the United States and Japan in the regional and global trading environment,” they said in a joint statement.


However, asked whether Japan and the U.S. are moving toward deepening this economic dialogue into a bilateral free trade agreement, Pence said there was a chance that they might formally launch such negotiations based on what they will have established under the current framework.


Japan has been reluctant...





Defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership not favorable for local cattle ranchers


By: Tabatha Mills, KGET-TV 17 | (CA)

Apr 18, 2017


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership could disrupt an essential market for beef producers, a market that doesn't exist anywhere else.


TPP would have fostered the demand in Japan for American beef products, products we don't eat but are still a quality food source.


Now with that trade agreement out the door, some local beef producers are essentially losing out on tens of thousands of dollars.


"Just because the grass is green and there's plentiful water this year, it doesn't mean it's going to be easy on the cattle rancher," said Jack Lavers, Lavers Ranch.


Jack Laver's is a sixth generation cow-calf producer and stocker.


Since 1858 his family has bred and raised cattle on this land in Glennville.


"Our roots are deep here," Lavers said.


However the last few years have been hard for local cattle ranchers.


"There's always something coming down the pike hitting us," Lavers said.


Which now includes the defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership.


The trade agreement would have lowered tariff's on beef in japan over the next 16 years from 38.5% to 9%.


Which is important because Japanese consumers eat beef products that have no market in America.


"Your intestines and tongues and things of that nature where overseas it's a hot commodity market," Lavers said.


Those beef products catch upwards of a hundred dollars per carcass, but without lower tariff's many Japanese consumers can't afford to buy them.


In other words, it's getting harder for the cattle rancher...