Japan TPP Ratification Brings Concerns for U.S. Wheat

U.S. wheat farmers are concerned with the recent move by Japan to ratify the updated Trans-Pacific Partnership last week. U.S. Wheat Associates says implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership without the United States is “a time bomb” set to demolish more than 60 years of work to develop a “large and loyal market” for U.S. wheat in Japan. Japan last week became the second country to ratify the agreement, which could be implemented in early 2019 after six of the 11 countries that signed the agreement have ratified it. Once implemented, the agreement calls for incrementally discounting the import tariffs that Japanese flour millers pay for imported Australian and Canadian milling wheat, leaving U.S. wheat at a disadvantage, subject to current tariff levels. Sources within the Japanese milling industry estimate the disadvantage would force them to start looking at alternatives to U.S. wheat.