Hopes are running high after last week’s announcement of an agreement in principle for a bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Japan. Ag products, especially meat, have been a focal point for getting this deal done. With the deal almost complete, the U.S. Meat Export Federation has a group over in the island nation to learn about Ag trade with the nation.
Dean Meyer is a director for the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA). He also serves on the executive committee of the USMEF. Livestock is the number one consumer of corn, and Meyer says it is because of this that organizations like the corn growers are committed to helping get red meat trades flowing around the world.
Meyer says there is a level of excitement, in Japan, for getting the trade deal done. It means there is some certainty for buyers about where they will be getting their meat products from, and how much they will have to pay to obtain those products from the United States.
Meyers highlighted work being done by the corn and soybean checkoffs to help promote the corn and soy-fed beef and pork products. It has given the group a chance to interact with the consumers and tell the story of American Ag production. He says the Japanese people are very excited to learn more about our industry.
The tour also included Dan Halstrom, USMEF President and CEO; Cevin Jones, Idaho Cattle feeder and USMEF chair-elect; and David Preisler, Minnesota Pork Board CEO.