It seems that Japan has finally come around to understanding that it stands to reap massive benefits if it is able to pull of the TPP deal. Tokyo had to deal with protests from the Agriculture sector earlier, who voiced concerns over the pact with US, a country most are sceptical about.
But one has to give US where credit is due. Almost all of the efforts, in the form of calling in for bilateral talks, seem to be coming from their side. Though it is yet to be decided exactly how much the tariffs would be lowered, the fact that pork is one product in the five baskets of agricultural products in the Abe administration, this move is seen as a very bold one.
It has been reported that:
“Although the details remain unreleased, sources close to negotiators said that Japan and the United States agreed to substantially lower tariffs on beef and pork exports to Japan — the main focus of the bilateral TPP talks — to the level of “9 percent or more,” from the current 38.5 percent, over the course of about 20 years.”
In exchange for Japan’s agreement to reduce tariffs, the United States seems to have compromised to allow safeguard measures. Under the new system, original tariff rates will be restored to on products from the US if imports surge too much after a tariff reduction. This shows that there is an understanding regarding the sensitivity of the sectors that the TPP deals with.