WASHINGTON — Year-long negotiations come to an end with the United States and Japan officially signing a trade deal on Oct. 7. The agreement opens markets and will support expansion of US food and agricultural exports, increase farm income, generate more rural economic activity, and promote job growth.

The deal, previously announced last month, includes Japan eliminating or reducing tariffs on US food and agricultural products.

Many US agriculture associations support this new deal as it levels the playing field with other countries that are a part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

“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,” US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom said in August during the first announcement of the agreement. “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.”

In the US-Japan Trade Agreement, Japan has committed to provide substantial market access to US food and agricultural products by eliminating tariffs, enacting meaningful tariff reductions, or allowing a specific quantity of imports at a low duty (generally zero). The tariff treatment for the products covered in this agreement will match the tariffs that Japan provides preferentially to countries in the CPTPP 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 in August. “We look forward to rapid implementation of the agreement as international competitors are currently taking US pork market share through more favorable access.”

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said the agreement is an important step forward with U.S. agriculture’s fourth-largest export market.

“Today’s signing marks the successful end to more than a year of negotiation between Japan and the United States,” Duvall said. “This agreement means sharply lower tariffs on our farm and ranch exports with the promise of more to come. And while we aren’t yet finished opening this market, the conclusion of these talks means we can now trade with Japan with the same advantages enjoyed by signers of the CPTPP trade agreement.

“We hope the momentum from this win carries through to the negotiations with China this week and sets the stage for similar bilateral agreements with other countries involved with the CPTPP. We appreciate this administration’s efforts to improve trade opportunities for farmers.”