Japan Approves Partial Trade Agreement with U.S.

Japan’s Upper House of Parliament has ratified a partial trade agreement with the United States, which will go into effect on January 1, 202o, and commodities groups are applauding.

The agreement immediately reduces U.S. corn and sorghum imports for all purposes to a zero-tariff level, reduces the U.S. barley mark up and includes a staged tariff reduction for U.S. ethanol and U.S. corn, barley and sorghum flour. Also, U.S. feed and food corn, corn gluten feed, and DDGS will continue to receive duty-free market access.

Ryan LeGrand, President and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council, notes that the  agreement “solidifies trade with our second-largest corn market.”

With tariff rates mirroring those imposed on major competitors, the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s forecast for 2020 is for U.S. beef and pork exports to Japan to reach $2.3 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively. Export volumes are projected to be roughly 360,000 metric tons for beef and 410,000 metric tons for pork.

The USMEF called the agreement “one of the biggest developments in the history of red meat trade.”