US – Japan Trade Agreement A Big Win For NC Farm Families, Rouzer Says

Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC) says a new United States – Japan Trade Agreement announced Wednesday is a big win for North Carolina farm families.

Rouzer is a member of the House Agriculture Committee and serves as the Ranking Republican on the Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee.

“The trade agreement announced today between the U.S. and Japan is a big win for North Carolina’s farm families,” said Congressman Rouzer. “Trade with countries that share our values is more important than ever. Greater access to the Japanese market means stronger farm revenues for North Carolina farmers.”

The new trade agreement will provide America’s farmers and ranchers with enhanced market access to Japan, the third largest agricultural export market.  When implemented, this Agreement will enable American producers to compete more effectively with countries that currently have preferential tariffs in the Japanese market.

The deal brokered by President Donald Trump opens the U.S. food and agricultural market to  127 million Japanese consumers.

In the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, Japan has committed to provide substantial market access to American food and agricultural products by eliminating tariffs, enacting meaningful tariff reductions, or allowing a specific quantity of imports at a low duty (generally zero).  Importantly, the tariff treatment for the products covered in this agreement will match the tariffs that Japan provides preferentially to countries in the CP-TPP agreement.

Out of the $14.1 billion in U.S. food and agricultural products imported by Japan in 2018, $5.2 billion was already duty free.  Under this first-stage initial tariff agreement, Japan will eliminate or reduce tariffs on an additional $7.2 billion of U.S. food and agricultural products.  Over 90 percent of U.S. food and agricultural imports into Japan will either be duty free or receive preferential tariff access once the Agreement is implemented.

Among the products benefitting from this enhanced access will be beef and pork products.

Tariffs will be eliminated immediately on over $1.3 billion of U.S. farm products including almonds, blueberries, cranberries, walnuts, sweet corn, grain sorghum, food supplements, broccoli and prunes/

Other products valued at $3.0 billion will benefit from staged tariff elimination.  This group of products includes wine, cheese and whey, ethanol, frozen poultry, processed pork, fresh cherries, beef offal, frozen potatoes, orange, egg products and tomato paste.

The United States will provide tariff elimination or reduction on 42 tariff lines for agricultural imports from Japan valued at $40 million in 2018. Products include certain perennial plants and cut flowers, persimmons, green tea, chewing gum, certain confectionary products and soy sauce.

With Japan’s $5 trillion economy, this Agreement will expand U.S. food and agricultural exports, increase farm income, generate more rural economic activity, and promote job growth.

President Trump and Prime Minister Abe have agreed that these early outcomes will be followed by further negotiations to address remaining areas of interest to each government. The United States and Japan will continue working to achieve a comprehensive trade agreement that results in a more fair and reciprocal trade and economic relationship.