Trade has been a primary focus this year. Agriculture is needing strong trade agreements to survive. The United States and Japan have just announced a plan to make a free-trade agreement.
When the U.S. pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) last year, it was widely believed we needed to work on getting bi-lateral trade agreements with the TPP pact nations. Japan was at the top of this list. According to the framework agreement reached between the U.S. and Japan, American farmers will have a level playing field in Japan with other TPP nations according to American Farm Bureau trade adviser Dave Salmonsen.
Salmonsen says with the Chinese trade disputes and a NAFTA stalemate with Canada, this is the news American Farmers needed to hear.
The biggest hurdle will be how fast Japan will phase out its tariffs on American ag imports such as beef, to make them competitive with the European Union and Australia.
There are a lot of details to be ironed out, but for now, we have a step in the right direction.