U.S. lawmaker says Japan and Canada must cut farm tariffs

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 05, 2015 11:01 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Canada and Japan must open their markets to farm imports under a Pacific trade pact, the chairman of a congressional committee responsible for trade said on Thursday, adding that any country that cannot meet the deal's ambitious goals should drop out.

In prepared remarks, House Ways and Means Committee Paul Ryan said his main condition for backing trade deals was for them to "go for the gold."

Negotiators from 12 Pacific countries hope to wrap up talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) within months, but Ryan said some countries might have to wait for the second round.

"For TPP, Japan and Canada just have to lower their agricultural tariffs," he said in his comments prepared for an event hosted by the Washington International Trade Association.

"Those have to go. And if any of the 12 countries currently in the talks think our standards are too high, well, I’d complete the agreement without them and invite them to join it later."

(Reporting by Krista Hughes; Editing by Susan Heavey)