ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 21, 2019 — The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and more than 30 other food and agricultural associations expressed their strong support of the “phase-one” trade agreement between the U.S. and Japan in a Nov. 19 letter to the House Ways and Means Committee.
“A trade agreement between the United States and Japan is critical since Japan is already the United States’ fourth‐largest agricultural export market and our major competitors have received impactful tariff reductions under the Comprehensive and Progressive for Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CP-TPP),” the letter noted.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative notes that under phase-one of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, more than 90 percent of U.S. food and agricultural products exported to Japan will either be duty free or receive preferential tariff access once the agreement is implemented.
“Of critical importance is the expected implementation (of this agreement) in January 2020, providing…parity treatment with CP-TPP imports” from other countries, the groups wrote. “Upon implementation, U.S. exporters will reestablish their footing with CP-TPP competitors in most tariff reductions and establish deeper and new trade relationships in the Japanese marketplace.”
The phase-one agreement is an important step toward the next phase of negotiations and a comprehensive U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement that addresses more market access and non-tariff measures in the Japanese market, including sanitary and phytosanitary measures, the groups noted.
While the phase-one agreement does not require congressional ratification, a second-phase comprehensive deal will need approval from the U.S. Congress.
“The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement will benefit farmers, ranchers and workers in the food and agriculture community,” the groups said. “Accordingly, we respectfully urge your support for implementation of the U.S.- Japan Trade Agreement in early 2020, as targeted.”
The NGFA, established in 1896, consists of more than 1,000 grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate more than 7,000 facilities and handle more than 70 percent of all U.S. grains and oilseeds. Its membership includes grain elevators; feed and feed ingredient manufacturers; biofuels companies; grain and oilseed processors and millers; exporters; livestock and poultry integrators; and associated firms that provide goods and services to the nation’s grain, feed and processing industry. The NGFA also consists of 33 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, and is co-located and has a strategic alliance with North American Export Grain Association, and a strategic alliance with Pet Food Institute.