July 5th, 2016 | By: Julie Makinen
Rice farmer Takao Terada isn’t following the U.S. presidential election too closely. But there’s one issue that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton seem to agree on — that the U.S. should not ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact — and that’s music to his ears.
“We Japanese farmers can’t compete with the Americans. It costs us almost three times as much to produce rice,” he said on Thursday, watching one of his eight workers sowing seedlings in a wet paddy here in Shizuoka prefecture, a two-hour train ride southwest of Tokyo. “TPP will drive down prices and allow in more imports, and that will be a big problem.”
The Obama administration has said the trade pact — which would bind together the American and Japanese economies with Australia, Mexico and eight other countries — would eliminate more than 18,000 tariffs on made-in-America products and “make sure our farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and small businesses can compete — and win — in some of the fastest-growing markets in the world.”
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