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U.S.-Japan trade announcement draws positive reviews

The impact of agriculture is to be determined in the talks.

Ag leaders are hailing the announcement of trade talks between the U.S. and Japan.

"Positive movement with Japan related to trade and our countries' relationship as a whole is critical to the U.S. grains sector," said Tom Sleight, U.S. Grains Council president and CEO. "Japan is one of the largest and most loyal buyers of U.S. grains, and our relationships with our Japanese customers run deep. We are pleased to see this development in the work between our two countries."

Related: Japan's economy minister says Trump looking for quick deal

“The joint statement between President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe regarding the pursuit of trade opportunities that benefit both nations is great news for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall. “This affirmation by both nations to enter negotiations bodes well for the future and indicates the tide is turning for the better on agricultural trade. 

“I applaud President Trump for moving to begin trade discussions with Japan, and I look forward to continuing to engage with the administration, especially as it relates to agriculture,” said U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “In 2017, the U.S. exported nearly $12 billion in agricultural exports to Japan, placing it as our fourth largest destination. There is a great deal of potential to continue to grow that market, particularly for wheat and beef. At a time when rural America is in a rough patch with low prices and uncertain trade markets, this announcement is positive news.”

“Achieving high-standard trade agreements is a top priority for American agriculture, and the announcement of the beginning of negotiations for a U.S.-Japan trade agreement is an important step in that process,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “This is welcome news, since we know that export income is critical to the financial health of agriculture and is a key contributor to rural prosperity. Japan is an important customer for our agricultural products and we look forward to the great potential this breakthrough represents.” 

In a statement, the two countries "affirmed the importance of a strong, stable and mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship between the United States and Japan."

The impact of agriculture is to be determined in the talks. Japan was the second largest buyer of U.S. corn in the 2016-17 marketing year. Based on data from September 2017 to July 2018, Japan will be the second largest U.S. corn buyer again this marketing year.

The country is also a leading purchaser of sorghum, barley and distiller’s grains with solubes.

Source: U.S. Grains Council, AFBF, Office of Sen. Pat Roberts, USDA

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