President Trump got another big win on Sunday, as he announced that the U.S. and Japan had agreed “in principle” to a trade that will open Japan to $7 million of American agricultural products. Speaking to reporters at the G-7 summit, Trump stated, “We have been working on a deal with Japan for a long time. It involves agriculture. It involves e-commerce. It involves many things. We’ve agreed in principle.” Trump added, “We’ve agreed to every point, and now we’re papering it and we’ll be signing it at a formal ceremony,” according to The Hill.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer called the deal said “very good news” for American farmers. He added, “From our point of view it is extremely important for our farmers and ranchers and those who work in the digital space.”
Southeast AG Net quoted various agricultural officials praising the deal; U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue stated:
Japan is a significant market for United States agriculture exports, making today a good day for American agriculture. By removing existing barriers for our products, we will be able to sell more to the Japanese markets. At the same time we will able to close gaps to better allow us to compete on a level playing field with our competitors. I thank President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer for their constant support of America’s farmers and ranchers and their hard work negotiating better trade deals around the globe.
David Herring, president of the National Pork Producers Council, added, “We thank the Trump administration for negotiating a trade agreement with Japan, a market that represented 25 percent of total U.S. pork exports last year. We look forward to rapid implementation of the agreement as international competitors are currently taking U.S. pork market share through more favorable access. The United States produces the safest, highest-quality and most affordable pork in the world. It is the preference of many Japanese customers and we look forward to competing on a level playing field again.”
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Jennifer Houston echoed:
Today is an exciting day for America’s cattlemen and cattlewomen. President Trump and his trade team have delivered another great victory for the U.S. beef industry by expanding market access to Japan, our top export market. Last year, Japanese consumers purchased over $2 billion of U.S. beef, accounting for roughly one-quarter of overall U.S. beef exports. Removing the massive 38.5 percent tariff on U.S. beef will level the playing field in Japan, and we are very thankful to President Trump and his trade team for continuing to fight on behalf of America’s ranching families.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said although details have yet to be finalized, the U.S. and Japan had agreed on “core principles,” acknowledging Japan needs U.S. corn because pests affect Japanese home-grown products. He stated, “We still have some work that needs to be done … but we would like to make sure that our teams would accelerate the remaining work so as to achieve the goal of signing this agreement on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. automobile tariffs Trump has implemented will remain, but new tariffs on cars would not be instituted; Lighthizer said other U.S. tariffs would be eliminated.
The Journal explained that after Trump pulled out of the unratified 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership when he took office, some American farmers were upset because other countries that were party to the Partnership secured greater access to Japan’s markets for beef, pork and dairy products.