In this file:


·         Montana beef declared winner in U.S.-Japan trade deal

·         President Trump Signs the U.S. Japan Trade Agreement



Montana beef declared winner in U.S.-Japan trade deal


By Tom Lutey, Billings Gazette (MT)

Oct 7, 2019


The U.S.-Japan trade agreement signed Monday by President Donald Trump should deliver several million dollars in beef prices for Montana, the Montana Stockgrowers Association said.


Fred Wacker, MSGA president, who was at the White House for the signing ceremony, said cattle prices had already increased on news that the deal would be signed.


Trade organizations, like the National Cattlemen's Beef Association noted that beef appeared to be the big winner among agriculture interests included in the limited agreement. Japan’s tariff on U.S. beef is 38.5%, which will decrease gradually to 9% by 2033. The reduction is on track with tariff cuts guaranteed to Australia and Canada under the Trans Pacific Partnership, a multi-nation trade deal the U.S. abandoned in 2017.


Japan is the biggest foreign buyer of U.S. beef and ranchers shut out of TPP had watched with noses pressed against the glass as competitors who stuck with the deal saw benefits.


“This is the largest beef trade that has ever been done in the U.S,” Wacker, who ranches near Miles City, said in a phone call after the signing. “This thing is going to benefit us in so many ways. It’s going to do the same thing for the grains, corn and wheat. Everyone in that room was smiling.”


Japan bought $1.09 billion in the U.S. beef for an eight-month period ending in August, the U.S. Meat Export Federation reported. It was a 9% drop as TPP partners began seeing benefits of the 11-nation agreement the United States initiated, but later abandoned as a surge of populism swept the country in 2016.


Similarly, U.S. pork sales to Japan had declined 5% to $1.07 billion in the first eight months of the year. Montana pig farmers told Lee Montana Newspapers in August that tariffs in Japan and an outright ban on U.S. pork by China, was eroding profits. The value of the U.S. pork in Asian markets had fallen sharply and 26 Montana hog farms were ranked in the top 30 recipients of U.S. Market Facilitation Program, which pays farmers for trade war losses. In 2018, 64 Montana hog farms split $1.77 million in trade aid, according to federal data gathered by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit government watchdog that’s made a point of tracking farm subsidies.


The U.S.-Japan deal signed Monday will cut the current 20% tariff on U.S. pork to zero by 2025. Like the beef tariff reduction, the easing of the pork tariffs now mirrors the benefits awarded to TPP countries...





President Trump Signs the U.S. Japan Trade Agreement


By RFD-TV News

Oct 07, 2019


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is scheduled to sign a limited trade agreement Monday with Japan, a deal that would win back benefits American farmers lost when Trump pulled out of a broader Asia-Pacific pact his first week in office.


U.S. farmers have been operating at a disadvantage in Japan since Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which had been negotiated by the Obama administration. The other 11 Pacific Rim countries, including big farm producers such as New Zealand and Canada, went ahead without the United States and were enjoying preferential treatment in Japan.


While rewarding American farmers, the new U.S.-Japan mini-deal does not resolve differences over trade in autos. Trump has said the two countries continue to work on a more comprehensive agreement.


The limited trade pact also includes market-opening commitments on $40 billion worth of digital trade between the two countries...