Western Growers Responds to Trade Deal With Japan
IRVINE, CA - This past Sunday, the G-7 summit was held in France, where President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reached a possible trade deal. American farmers have expressed an overall approval on the matter, especially Western Growers' President and CEO Tom Nassif.
“Western Growers is extremely pleased to learn of the deal in principle between the U.S. and Japan, the third-largest market for American agricultural products. We are encouraged that the agreement will lead to substantial reductions in tariff and non-tariff barriers to access to the Japanese market, which will level the playing field for U.S. farmers, in particular, producers of fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts,” Nassif stated in Western Growers’ press release.
According to Kyodo News, Trump and Abe met on Sunday on the sidelines of the Group of Seven summit in France and agreed in principle on the bilateral trade deal and to step up remaining work to sign it in September.
“We applaud the efforts of President Trump, Prime Minister Abe, and trade representatives from both countries to secure a mutually beneficial deal that will result in significant export opportunities for Western Growers members and the broader agricultural industry,” continued Nassif.
Kyodo News further stated that Japan also decided during the Abe-Trump meeting to purchase around 2.5 million tons of excess corn in the United States as the U.S.-China trade dispute has taken a toll on such farmers, according to government sources.
Nassif also commented that “the anticipated reductions in tariffs and SPS barriers will result in true market gains and much needed economic relief for an industry that has already been caught in the crosshairs of trade wars on other fronts.”
Abe said negotiators will continue to fine-tune the language, but the two leaders said they hoped to sign the agreement in New York in late September when the U.N. General Assembly meets. There was no mention of whether Congress would have a role in approving the agreement. The possible deal could open Japanese markets to $7 billion in U.S. goods, according to Roll Call.
“Tariff equity for U.S. fresh produce is one of our most important international trade priorities, with Japanese tariffs on American agricultural products reaching as high as 35 percent for some commodities,” commented Nariff. “Of equal importance is the need for sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) reforms, as Japan’s current SPS regulatory regime prohibits many high-quality U.S. fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts from entering the Japanese market.”
How will this new deal further affect both growers and consumers? ANUK will continue to report.