U.S. and Japan to start trade talks

Japan is the U.S. pork industry’s No. 1 value market, importing more than $1.6 billion of U.S. pork in 2017.

September 26, 2018

2 Min Read
U.S. and Japan to start trade talks
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Sources: National Pork Producers Council, USDA
The National Pork Producers Council strongly praised the Trump administration, following today’s announcement by the White House that the United States and Japan soon will begin trade talks. The Asian nation is the U.S. pork industry’s No. 1 value market, importing more than $1.6 billion of U.S. pork in 2017.

“This is fantastic news for America’s pork producers,” says NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio. “Japan has been our top export market for years, so it’s good that the administration wants to solidify the relationship with that important economic and geopolitical ally.

“This is very positive for the U.S. pork industry, and it comes at a time when pork producers were having concerns about losing market share in Japan.”

That’s because the U.S. pork industry’s biggest competitor, the European Union, recently concluded negotiations on a free trade agreement with Japan. That deal is set to become effective early next year. Additionally, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP minus the United States) is expected to be finalized early next year.

“We look forward to working with the Trump trade team on bolstering ties with one of our most important trading partners,” Heimerl says.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue also welcomed the agreement between President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Shinzō Abe to begin negotiations for a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement.

“Achieving high-standard trade agreements is a top priority for American agriculture, and the announcement of the beginning of negotiations for a U.S.-Japan trade agreement is an important step in that process. This is welcome news, since we know that export income is critical to the financial health of agriculture and is a key contributor to rural prosperity,” Perdue says. “Japan is an important customer for our agricultural products and we look forward to the great potential this breakthrough represents. Today’s announcement is further proof that President Trump’s approach to trade — standing strong for American interests and bringing other countries to the table — will benefit our entire economy, including the agricultural sector.”

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