|September 30, 2019|
A new trade agreement between the U.S. and Japan was signed by President Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The agreement lowers or eliminates tariffs in Japan on American farm products like fresh beef, almonds, wheat and many other products, The White House reports.
“Once this agreement is implemented, over 90 percent of U.S. food and agricultural products imported into Japan will either be duty free or receive preferential tariff access,” The White House reports in this fact sheet.
This “limited” agreement, the newspaper reports, could clear the way for a more comprehensive agreement in the future.
“Japanese tariffs will now be significantly lower or eliminated completely on beef, pork, wheat, cheese, corn, wine and so much more,” President Donald Trump said. The deal will open markets for about $7 billion in U.S. agriculture products, he added.
The deal will allow American farmers to better compete in Japan, which is the world’s third-largest economy.
“American agricultural exporters have been disadvantaged in the Japanese market ever since Mr. Trump pulled out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership at the beginning of his presidency,” the newspaper reported. “The other 11 nations had completed that deal and thus obtained lower tariffs in Japan’s market.”
The U.S. will lower or remove tariffs on some Japanese industrial and agricultural goods. Examples include specific machine tools, fasteners, steam turbines, flowers, green tea and soy sauce.
The two countries have also agreed to new rules around digital trade, including a prohibition on imposing tariffs on digital products transmitted electronically, like videos, music, e-books, software and games, the newspaper reports.
“The deal ensures barrier-free cross border data transfers,” the newspaper reports.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded the deal but said there’s more work to do.
“The Chamber strongly urges the administration to hold fast to its commitment to achieve a comprehensive, high-standard trade agreement with Japan that addresses the full range of our trade priorities,” said Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for federal issues, to learn more.
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