Media reports in Japan are saying that the parliament is likely to start voting on a trade pact with the U.S. sometime next week. The lower house of the Japanese Diet will take up the pact next Wednesday, while the upper house, called the House of Councilors, will begin considering the deal the next day. A Japan Times report says Japan’s parliament had wanted to hold their votes this week, but complications came about from opposition lawmakers, who demanded that minutes of the meetings between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe be released.
Trump wants the deal implemented by January 1, which will likely happen as both houses of parliament are expected to pass the agreement. Trump and Abe announced in September that the countries had reached a deal on the first phase of a trade pace that will have a positive impact on U.S. commodities, including beef, wheat, and pork. An Agri-Pulse report says Japan agreed to cut or eliminate tariffs on $7.2 billion worth of American ag products. The Asian country will also install new quotas that will help to boost import levels of U.S. farm goods even further.