The United States and Japan have reached a trade agreement on agricultural and industrial tariffs and digital commerce, signed by President Trump and Japanese Prime Minster Abe Sept. 25.
Under the agreement, Japan will place the same level of agricultural tariffs on U.S. goods as it places on other countries through trade agreements. By way of example, the 38.5% tariff on U.S. beef will fall to the 26% placed on beef from Australia, Canada and the European Union. Some other foods such as duck, geese, turkey peaches, melons and more would enter duty-free.
“Japan is a top export destination for Ohio grains and meat and we are encouraged that a deal has been made to expand access to their market,” said Jon Miller, president of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association. “Japan is also an important market for future ethanol exports and we look forward to providing them a clean-burning, high-octane fuel.”
It may take effect as early as Jan. 1, 2020. There is no action by the U.S. Congress necessary, as this is not a full trade agreement that involves substantive changes to existing U.S. law. Many other issues, contained in a “Phase 2” negotiation, will be dealt with in future talks with Japan.
“Japan is American agriculture’s fourth-largest export destination and vital to the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of farms and the families who live on them. We export nearly $13 billion a year in agricultural products to Japan, even as we continue to face steep tariffs on many exports,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau president. “This agreement, once signed, will lower tariffs and put U.S. farmers and ranchers on a level playing field to compete in Japan with countries that participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. That’s good news.
“The time for trade wars has come and gone. We are thankful the administration has reached this deal and we urge trade negotiators to achieve many more like it. Farmers and ranchers need to get back to doing what they do best: feeding a hungry world that needs what they produce.”