Beef and pork producers have a reason to celebrate with the announcement that a trade agreement between the U.S. and Japan will level the playing field with their international competitors.
The announcement was given at the annual Group of 7 summit in France on Sunday by President Donald Trump, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. According to the Associated Press, Trump said the two countries have agreed on every point and the U.S. hopes to increase agricultural exports including beef, pork and corn.
Japan is expected to make large purchases of corn, according to the AP, but there is still work left to do. The Hill reported Lighthizer said the deal will open markets to $7 billion in agricultural products.
Trump and Abe hope to sign the agreement next month in New York, according to Reuters.
In a statement on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, “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 be 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, a pork producer from Lillington, North Carolina, and president of the National Pork Producers Council, said in a statement on Sunday, “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,” he continued. “It is the preference of many Japanese customers, and we look forward to competing on a level playing field again.”
Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes estimates Japanese exports will grown from $1.6 billion in 2018 to more than $2.2 billion over the next 15 years as a result of the pork industry getting access to the Japanese market that is as favorable as its competitors, the NPPC release stated.
According to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Japan is the top export market for U.S. beef.
On Sunday Jennifer Houston, NCBA president, said in a statement, “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.”