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NFU, JA Zenchu Statement on Lima Round of TPP Negotiations

17 May 2013, at 11:46am

US - In advance of the Lima round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union (NFU) president, and Akira Banzai, president of Japan’s Zenchu, the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA Zenchu), 'strongly urge' TPP negotiators to consider the potentially damaging effects brought about by an unbalanced trade agreement.

The statement reads: “As leaders of organizations representing family farmers in Japan and the United States, we strongly urge TPP negotiators to fully consider the potentially damaging effects brought about by an unbalanced trade agreement. The TPP raises serious questions of national sovereignty, as the talks cover important issues for the citizens of each country, ranging from food safety to health care.

“Agriculture must be treated differently from other economic sectors in trade agreements, due to the fundamental importance of food security, rural economies, and cultural considerations. Both countries have sensitive agricultural products that must be respected.

“Moreover, our organizations support affordable and accessible universal health care systems as a fundamental human right. In this context, the TPP should not dismantle or damage any existing health care programs in participating countries.

“Greater transparency in the negotiating process and study of the effects of the TPP are necessary. As long as the TPP negotiations are conducted under the current framework of secrecy, we fear that family farmers will be harmed.

You can view the full statament by clicking here.

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