China Not The Only Trade Focus This Weekend

While man are waiting to see what happens between the U.S. and China this weekend at the G20 summit in Japan, that’s not the only trade front farmers will keep their eye on.  President Trump and his trade team are also scheduled to talk with Japan’s leaders on a possible bilateral agreement.  U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer said Japan remains the top market for U.S. beef, but still has high tariffs.


“Japan has been a pretty good market for the United States in a number of products…it should be much better, they still have a state-organized agricultural sector, and they also have fairly high tariffs…but we have a fair amount of access, particularly like in beef and some other areas.”


Lighthizer noted a key challenge for any U.S. commodity bound for Japan is international competition.


“Because they entered into TPP and a separate agreement with Europe, we’re going to be in a position where we’re treated worse than our competitors.  Our competitors will be all of our competitors in Europe, of which there are a substantial; but also, Mexico, Canada and New Zealand.  So, it’s a big, big problem.”


“We understand the nature of this problem, and we have to resolve it, because if we don’t, these farmers are going to lose that market,” Lighthizer continued.  “Because of nothing they did; just because Japan gave more access to somebody else and they may never get those markets back.”


​Lighthizer said the Japanese understand this, and he’s hopeful the two-sides will strike a deal in the “weeks and months, ahead.”



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