WASHINGTON – Japan’s announcement last week that it would like to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) multi-lateral trade talks was applauded by the National Pork Producers Council. Consisting of Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam, the TPP would be a regional trade bloc.

“The US pork industry strongly supports Japan’s entry into the TPP, and NPPC urges the US and the other TPP countries to accede to Japan’s request,” said Doug Wolf, NPPC president. “Pork producers would gain tremendous market opportunities with Japan as part of the TPP.”

Currently, Japan has free-trade agreements with six of the nine TPP countries: Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Japan is the leading market for US pork. In 2010, the US pork industry exported $1.65 billion of pork to Japan; in the first nine months of this year, $1.44 billion was shipped.

In 2010, the US pork industry exported approximately $4.8 billion of pork, which added about $56 to the price producers received for each hog marketed.