Farmers and Ranchers Celebrate Japanese Trade Deal, Look Forward to More
(AFBF-Oct. 7, 2019) — President Trump signed the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, which is an important step forward with U.S. agriculture’s fourth-largest export market. The following may be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall:
“Today’s signing marks the successful end to more than a year of negotiation between Japan and the United States. 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 CP-TPP trade agreement. That’s great news.
“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 CP-TPP. We appreciate this Administration’s efforts to improve trade opportunities for farmers.”
U.S. negotiators have been working to develop new trade agreements with Japan and other countries in the wake of U.S. withdrawal from the multinational Trans-Pacific Partnership process.
The Japan bilateral agreement keeps intact essentially all the trade benefits the United States would have gained in Japan under TPP.
The agreement immediately eliminates all tariffs on U.S. exports of sweet corn, almonds, broccoli and prunes, among other things. Other tariffs on products such as ethanol, cheese and whey, fresh cherries and other farm and ranch products will be phased out over a number of years.
The U.S. will also benefit from increased export quotas on products such as corn starch, malt, potato starch, fructose and more.
AFBF has further analysis concerning the agreement here: https://www.fb.org/market-intel/japan-u.s.-agriculture-agreement-could-help-u.s.-catch-up-to-global-competi.
NCGA Joins President Trump for U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement Signing
(WASHINGTON. NCGA-Oct. 7, 2019) — NCGA President Kevin Ross joined leaders of other farm and commodity groups at the White House to commemorate the signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. The agreement secures the second-largest export market for corn farmers. Ross made the following statement.
“Japan is the number two buyer of U.S. corn, purchasing more than $2 billion in the most recent marketing year. This is a high-value market for our livestock industry, therefore, also a major purchaser of U.S. corn through exported meats. NCGA has been a long-time supporter of trade with Japan. With many farmers struggling amid some challenging times, this is some much-needed good news. This agreement reaffirms and builds on our trading relationship with Japan and NCGA looks forward to continued work for a successful Phase 2 of these important negotiations.”
WASHINGTON (NCBA-Oct. 7, 2019) – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Jennifer Houston issued the following statement after attending a White House ceremony in honor of the bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Japan that will lower Japan’s massive tariffs on U.S. beef.
“I was deeply honored to attend the ceremony at the White House where we celebrated a bilateral trade agreement with Japan. As the top market for U.S. beef exports, Japan accounts for one quarter of our exports and roughly $2 billion in annual sales. As a beef producer, I understand the value of exports to my bottom line, and President Trump understands that increased access to foreign markets like Japan is the economic stimulus we need. We are grateful for President Trump’s leadership and for the hard work of our trade negotiators who fought hard to strengthen our access to the Japanese market. Because of their efforts, future generations of American ranching families will benefit from trade with Japan.”
Houston hailed today’s announcement as an important step forward for the U.S. beef industry.
“For the past few years, U.S. beef producers have benefitted greatly from growing demand for U.S. beef in Japan. While Japanese consumers enjoy high quality U.S. beef, they unfortunately pay a higher price for U.S. beef due to the massive 38.5 percent tariff. Removing that tariff allows more Japanese consumers to enjoy more U.S. beef at a more competitive price. Today’s announcement is welcome news for American families who produce U.S. beef and Japanese families who purchase it.”
In 2018, Japanese consumers purchased $2.07 billion of U.S. beef. Currently, U.S. beef faces a massive 38.5 percent tariff in Japan, while our competitors from Australia, Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand face a 26.6 percent tariff. Leveling the playing field in Japan is a top priority for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
U.S.-Japan Tariff Agreement Confirms Equal Access for U.S. Wheat
Washington, D.C. (NAWG/USWA-Oct. 7, 2019) — The text of the U.S.-Japan tariff agreement signed in Washington, D.C., confirms that the agreement will provide imported U.S. wheat the same preferential advantage that is now given to Canadian and Australian wheat under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Japan’s Diet must approve the agreement before it is implemented.
“As we hoped, the text confirms that the agreement will put U.S. wheat back on equal footing with wheat from Canada and Australia when it is implemented,” said U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Vince Peterson who attended the event at the White House. “In addition, Japan has agreed to open country specific quotas for U.S. wheat and wheat product imports. The Trump Administration and negotiators for both countries clearly understood what was at stake for U.S. wheat farmers and made sure to have our backs in this agreement.”
“NAWG is thrilled to be present during the signing of the U.S.-Japan tariff agreement, a major milestone for wheat growers,” said National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President and Lavon, Tex., farmer Ben Scholz. “We would like to thank staff and leaders at USTR, USDA, and the Administration for working with the wheat industry as this agreement nears the finish line.”
As USW and NAWG noted when President Trump and Prime Minister Abe announced the tariff agreement last month in New York, Japan’s effective tariff on imported U.S. wheat will drop to the same level Japanese flour millers now pay for Canadian and Australian wheat. Since the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement entered into force last December, market factors have kept U.S. wheat competitive. Without this new agreement, however, U.S. wheat imports would have become less and less cost competitive to the point that Japan’s flour millers would have no other choice than to buy more of the lower cost wheat from the CPTPP member countries.
U.S. wheat represents about 50 percent of all the wheat Japan imports each year, currently valued at more than $600 million. That volume represents more than 10 percent of total annual U.S. wheat exports, generally benefiting all U.S. wheat farmers and specifically farmers from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern and Central Plains states.