Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D., (R-South Louisiana) issued the following statement after the Obama Administration announced completion of bilateral talks with Tokyo about Japan's interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP):
"The TPP has the potential to benefit both the American and Japanese economies. However, quite a few issues must be addressed with regard to Japanese barriers being lifted on exports from the United States. While Tokyo seeks long-term growth by entering into the TPP, I continue to have concerns over what this means for American exporters, especially growers and producers in South Louisiana. Members of South Louisiana's agricultural sector, specifically producers in its rice industry, must not be adversely affected by Japanese imposed tariff exemptions. These exemptions put American exports at a competitive disadvantage. I will work with negotiators from the United States Trade Representative's office to ensure level playing fields are implemented for all parties involved with the TPP."