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Photo courtesy of National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff.

Trade agreement in place with Japan

U.S. agriculture celebrated a U.S. trade agreement with Japan that, once implemented, will place it back on a level playing field with international competitors in one of its most important export markets. The agreement was announced at the G7 summit in France during a press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“We thank the Trump administration for negotiating a trade agreement with Japan, a market that represented 25 percent of total U.S. pork exports last year,” said David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C. and president of the National Pork Producers Council. “We look forward to rapid implementation of the agreement as international competitors are currently taking U.S. pork market share through more favorable access.”

Dr. Dermot Hayes, an economist at Iowa State University, estimates exports to Japan will grow from $1.6 billion in 2018 to more than $2.2 billion over the next 15 years as a result of the United States pork industry getting market access in Japan as favorable as its competitors.

U.S. pork is highly dependent on exports, shipping more than 25 percent of total production to foreign markets. Other NPPC trade priorities include ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement, which preserves zero-tariff pork trade in North America, and resolving trade disputes with China that will enable U.S. pork producers to capitalize on an unprecedented sales opportunity with the world’s largest pork-consuming nation.

“The United States produces the safest, highest-quality and most affordable pork in the world,” Herring said. “It is the preference of many Japanese customers and we look forward to competing on a level playing field again.”

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