New U.S.-Japan trade agreement further opens market for Iowa products

Local News
Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe

FILE – In this Aug. 25, 2019, file photo, U.S President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands following a news conference at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France to announce that the U.S. and Japan have agreed in principle on a new trade agreement. On Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, officials in Japan appear wary over the prospects for a trade deal with the U.S. after President Donald Trump said he was prepared to sign a pact soon. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Iowa’s farmers will have an easier time getting their pork, beef, and corn into Japan.

President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed Wednesday the United States-Japan Trade agreement, which the United State Department of Agriculture says will provide America’s farmers and ranchers greater access to the Japanese market, the United States’ third largest agricultural export market.

The White House says Japan will eliminate or significantly lower tariffs for American beef, pork, poultry, wheat, cheese, wine, certain nuts and berries, ethanol, and more. The agreement opens Japan’s markets to about $7 billion in American agricultural exports.

Iowa’s elected officials are onboard with the new deal. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says the agreement “is a decisive victory for Iowa farmers” and says she “looks forward to leading a trade mission to Japan later this year and building an even stronger relationship with this important trading partner.”

That trade mission will happen in November. The governor’s office says Iowa shipped $491 million in corn products, $370 million in pork products, and $135 million in beef products to Japan in 2018.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, who was at the signing of the trade agreement in New York Wednesday, also commented on the new trade agreement saying in a statement, “This deal helps build the momentum we need to ratify USMCA [United State Mexico Canada Agreement] and reach a long-term trade agreement with China.” Secretary Naig will join Governor Reynolds on the November trade mission.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst supports the agreement. She said in a statement, “I applaud President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer for their persistent efforts to reduce trade barriers and get a good deal for our agriculture community.”

Senator Grassley tweeted the following:

Iowa’s congressional members have not commented on the United States-Japan Trade Agreement.

The White House says a separate deal with Japan was struck on digital trade.

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