News from the USTR: Japan-U.S. Organic Trade

Today, the United States and Japan announced that beginning January 1, 2014, organic products certified in Japan or in the United States may be sold as organic in either country.

This partnership will greatly benefit both countries as the organics sector in the United States and Japan is valued at more than $36 billion combined, and rising every year.

“Today’s agreement will streamline access to the growing Japanese organic market for U.S. farmers and processors and eliminate significant barriers for small and medium organic producers, benefiting America’s thriving organic industry,” said United States Trade Representative Michael Froman. “This represents another key step in strengthening our economic relationship with Japan by boosting agriculture trade between Japan and the United States, leading to more jobs and economic benefits   for American farmers and businesses in this important sector.”

“This partnership reflects the strength of the USDA organic standards, allowing American organic farmers, ranchers, and businesses to access Asia’s largest organic market,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “It is a win for the American economy and sets the foundation for additional organic agricultural trade agreements in Asia. This partnership provides economic opportunities for farmers and small businesses, resulting in good jobs for Americans across the organic supply chain.”

Read more here.

Conference Discussion: Transpacific Trade Agreement (TPP)

Ambassador Cuisia of the Philippines anticipates the ongoing rise of Asia. The Philippines are experiencing growth rates of over 6%, and even so ranks only third in Asia. He sees the TPP as bringing a new trade architecture to the world, drawing a line down the middle of the Pacific, and accelerating the dynamics of the Asian marketplace. Due to new strength in Asia, Mr. Cuisia forecast the beginning of a new “Roman Peace” with new allies and alliances forming a counterweight to the current “heavy hitters” in trade. His key message was that the Philippines want to become part of the emerging TPP.

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia (Philippine Embassy Photo by Lilibeth Almonte-Arbez)

Jack Jan, chairman of the Taiwan-U.S. Commercial Forum reiterated the desire of Taiwan to join in with the TPP. That way, Taiwan could offer even more opportunities as a bridge to China. However, in spite of such a desire to join, he warned against the effects of too onerous a cost.

Skip Jones, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce explained that a TPP would greatly enhance and strengthen the role of Asia as a member of supply chains, global channels and technology. He believes that countries will be able to join the TPP, as long as they don’t break the effort or slow down progress. However, as he colorfully put it: “those who join late get bit by the dog.”

Global Marketing Conference at Georgetown University

Don’t forget to sign up for the Global Marketing Conference on “Trade Policy and International Marketing: Breakthroughs on the Horizon?” hosted by Georgetown University, the American Marketing Association, and the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce on March 14-15. The first day of the conference will be held at Georgetown University and the second day of the conference will be held in the Rotunda of the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. Avoid late fees and register before March 1, 2013!

To view the program for the conference, please click here.

To register please click here.