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NFU and JA Zenchu Statement on TPP Negotiations

13 June 2013

US - Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union (NFU) president, and Akira Banzai, president of Japan’s Zenchu, the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA Zenchu), met on Tuesday, 11 June, in Washington and signed a joint statement regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

"As leaders of organizations representing family farmers in Japan and the United States, we strongly urge Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators to fully consider the potentially damaging effects brought about by an unbalanced trade agreement," Mr Johnson and Mr Banzai said in the document.

"Agriculture must be treated differently from other economic sectors in a trade agreement, due to the critical significance of food security, viable rural economies, and cultural considerations. Both countries have sensitive agricultural products that must be respected and protected."

Mr Johnson and Mr Banzai, along with a delegation of leaders from JA Zenchu, the Central Union of Agriculture in Japan, discussed trade issues and other opportunities for collaboration among the two organizations. The leaders pledged to continue to advocate on behalf of farmers as the TPP negotiations continue.

"Greater transparency in the negotiating process and in-depth study of the possible impact of the TPP are called for," they said in the statement.

"As long as the TPP negotiations are conducted under the current framework of secrecy, the daunting fear of the damage imposed upon family farmers will continue to grow."

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