President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that the framework of a new trade agreement with Japan had been reached. The agreement was announced at the G7 summit in France during a press conference with Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
Trump said, “We’ve been working on a deal with Japan for a long time. It involves agricultural and it involves e-commerce and many other things. It’s a very big transaction, and we’ve agreed in principle. It’s billions and billions of dollars. Tremendous for the farmers.”
He continued, “And one of the things that Prime Minister Abe has also agreed to is we have excess corn in various parts of our country, with our farmers, because China did not do what they said they were going to do. And Prime Minister Abe, on behalf of Japan, they’re going to be buying all of that corn. And that’s a very big transaction. They’re going to be buying it from our farmers.”
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 able to close gaps to better allow us to compete on a level playing field with our competitors.”
“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,” said David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C. and president of the National Pork Producers Council. “We look forward to rapid implementation of the agreement as international competitors are currently taking U.S. pork market share through more favorable access,” he said.
Dr. Dermot Hayes, an economist at Iowa State University, estimates exports to Japan will grow from $1.6 billion in 2018 to more than $2.2 billion over the next 15 years as a result of the United States pork industry getting market access in Japan as favorable as its competitors.