Japan Trade Agreement

Japan Trade Agreement

Maura Bennett
Maura Bennett
Some relief for California farmers and ranchers. That partial trade deal with Japan announced this week is being called a step in the right direction. And we have a few more details about what's in the agreement.

"It's a great agreement and it's a big win for US agriculture."

Dep. Secretary of Agriculture Steve Censky says right now the US sells Japan about 14 billion dollars worth of ag products. About six billion of that is already duty-free.

And under this agreement another 7 billion dollars , tariffs will either be eliminated or reduced and will be competitive to match any of our competitors in that market. And that's going to cover about 90 percent of dutiful trade that we have going into Japan."

The Deputy Ag Secretary says they are still dotting the i's and crossing the t's. The hope is that it will be signed and in effect at the first of the year. USDA's reporter Gary Crawford says it does not need congressional approval.

California's Jim Costa Chairs the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture said he welcomed the news but added, the job is not done. Costa pointed out that some commodities are getting less than they would have gotten in TPP.

Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif said in a statement, the elimination of tariffs on products such as almonds, blueberries, walnuts, broccoli and prunes – as well as the staged tariff elimination for products like cherries and oranges – will result in significant export opportunities. He added more work is needed on the non-tariff barriers to trade with Japan.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the deal would give a lift to economies on both sides of the Pacific but cautioned that the partial agreement doesn't go far enough.

"A comprehensive trade deal with Japan would provide some much-needed predictability."

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