Trump Signs Trade Agreements with Japan

On Monday, President Trump signed two trade agreements with Japan, one focused on goods, the second a digital trade agreement.  At the White House Monday, the President said both trade agreements are wonderful opportunities for the United States.


“These two deals represent a tremendous victory for both our nations. They will create countless jobs, expand investment and commerce, reduce our trade deficit very substantially, promote fairness and reciprocicty, and unlock the vast opportunities for growth.”


Trump added many American farmers will benefit from the Japanese trade agreement.


“Japanese tariffs will now be significantly lower, or eliminated entirely, for US beef, pork, wheat, cheese, corn, wine and so much more.”


The President signed the trade agreements just days before his negotiators are set to resume high-level trade talks with a delegation of senior Chinese officials.


Many in the agriculture community expressed their thanks after Monday’s ceremony.


“The first stage of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement comes at a critical time for the U.S. agriculture community,” said National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Dr. Barbara P. Glenn. “With all the uncertainty in the global marketplace, securing an initial agreement with Japan ensures that U.S. producers will have increased access to the lucrative Japanese market.”


“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 President and Lavon, TX, 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.”


“NGFA commends the United States and Japan for consummating, effective Jan. 1, a stage one trade agreement that will preserve significant market access for U.S. agricultural products, including wheat and wheat products, pork and beef,” said National Grain and Feed Association President and CEO Randy Gordon.  “Japan represents America’s third largest agricultural market, and this agreement was essential so that U.S. agricultural products were not put at a competitive disadvantage compared to the preferential tariff treatment accorded the 10 other countries signing onto the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership following the United States’ withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord, as well as the Japan-European Union trade agreement. NGFA is grateful that President Trump and Prime Minister Abe and their respective trade negotiators worked intensively to complete this agreement in a remarkably short, one-month period.


“NGFA also commends U.S. and Japanese trade negotiators for their commitment to engage in a second stage of trade negotiations starting in April that will focus on addressing additional agricultural tariffs, as well as important sanitary and phytosanitary and non-tariff barriers to trade, to enhance further the positive, mutually beneficial and long-standing U.S.-Japan trade relationship to benefit consumers, economic growth and job creation in both countries.”



That was not the only trade talk out of the Administration on Monday.  Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Tennessee, where called on Congress to pass USMCA.


“I came to Tennessee today to say it’s time for Congress to pass the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement and pass it this year.”



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