Japan’s government and ruling bloc are considering eliminating the country’s effective tariff on imported wheat used to make flour for pasta, in preparation for the effectuation of its economic partnership agreement with the European Union, it was learned Thursday.
With Japan’s tariff on pasta from EU countries set to be removed in the eleventh year after the free trade pact takes effect, the government and the ruling coalition believe that it is necessary to lower domestic pasta makers’ procurement costs, informed sources said. Currently, Japan’s pasta tariff stands at ¥30 per kilogram.
All foreign wheat and barley used in Japan are imported by the government. When it sells the imported grains to private flour mills, effective tariffs are added to the sale prices, in order to protect domestic wheat and barley producers.
Being studied is a plan to remove the effective tariff on durum wheat, which now stands at ¥17 per kilogram on average, according to the sources. More than 90% of imported durum wheat is now from Canada.
Meanwhile, the government and the ruling pair of the Liberal Democratic Party and K?meit? are mulling helping Japanese cheese makers introduce equipment to boost productivity and taking measures to improve the quality of raw milk for cheese, the sources said.