WASHINGTON – The US and Japan agreed to a new trade agreement on Aug. 25 that will reduce tariffs on American beef, pork and other agricultural products.
President Donald Trump announced that the deal was done in principal with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe at the G7 Summit in France. The two sides are expected to sign the agreement around the United Nations General Assembly next month.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said during the summit that the proposed deal would open markets to $7 billion worth of American products which included beef, pork, corn and dairy products. According to Lighthizer, industrial tariffs and digital trade will be a part of the agreement.
US beef and pork producers applauded the latest agreement by the Trump Administration since Japan is one of the largest US red meat import markets in the world.
“This announcement is tremendous news for US farmers and ranchers, and for everyone in the red meat supply chain, because it will level the playing field for US pork and beef in the world’s most competitive red meat import market,” said US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “It is also a very positive development for our customer base in Japan, which USMEF and our industry partners have spent decades building. These customers have been very loyal to US pork and beef, but our exports to Japan could not reach their full potential under Japan’s current tariff structure.”
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) also lauded the agreement.
“We thank the Trump administration for negotiating a trade agreement with Japan, a market that represented 25 percent of total US pork exports last year,” said David Herring, president of the NPPC. “We look forward to rapid implementation of the agreement as international competitors are currently taking US pork market share through more favorable access.”
According to Dermot Hayes, Ph.D., an economist at Iowa State Univ, exports to Japan will grow from about $1.6 billion in 2018 to more than $2.2 billion over the next 15 years after the agreement is signed.