Ag Seeks Swift Agreement in U.S.-Japan Trade Talks

A large coalition of agriculture groups is urging for swift action in the negotiation and implementation of a U.S.-Japan trade agreement.

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, along with many agriculture organizations, signed a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer this week. The groups say the U.S. food and agriculture industry is increasingly disadvantaged by competing regional and bilateral agreements with Japan that have already been implemented, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the European Union-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

As a result, U.S. exporters of wheat, beef, pork, dairy, wine, potatoes, fruits and vegetables, and other products are facing collapse of their Japanese market share as these sales are handed over to their competitors. Agriculture is seeking an agreement with Japan that includes market access provisions that at least equal the terms of the other agreements. The groups say the agreement must include an accelerated phase-in of tariff cuts to ensure the U.S. is not facing a disadvantage compared to other countries, and address non-tariff barriers.