In response to news that the U.S. and Japan have agreed in principle to a trade deal involving American agricultural products, along with industrial tariffs and digital trade, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement:
“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.
“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% for some commodities. 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.
“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.
“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.”