Trump Asking Japan to Purchase U.S. Ag Products

President Trump is asking Japan to purchase U.S. farm products as the two nations seek a small trade deal including agriculture.

Trump asked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to buy a “huge amount” of U.S. wheat and soybeans as the negotiations continue, according to Reuters. Japan and the United States are targeting an agreement by September on trade issues, including tariffs on U.S. beef and the automobile sector.

Trump has made a similar request of China as part of the talks around the tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China. A Japan deal would be welcomed by U.S. agriculture, disadvantaged in the market as competitors enjoy smaller tariffs. The off-balance tariffs stem from Trump removing the U.S. from the then-called Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation says sales have remained strong, considering the higher tariffs. Sales figures remain flat, but not losing market share is positive. Japan represents a significant opportunity for U.S. beef exports, if the tariffs are reduced.