Any potential trade deal between the U.S. and Japan will include big gains for farmers and ranchers. Politico says that statement comes directly from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. He says in written comments to the Senate Finance Committee that ag producers will see “significant new opportunities for agricultural exports” once any agreement gets finalized. The Economic Revitalization Minister from Japan will be in Washington, D.C., for trade discussions on Thursday and Friday. Negotiators tell Politico that they’re hoping to get a mini-deal done quickly that focuses on agriculture and automobiles. They’d like to get it done within the coming weeks and months.
An agreement on farm products would be a big boost for U.S. farmers and ranchers. Now that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is in effect without the United States, American producers fear losing their share of the large Japanese market to competitors like Canada and Australia. Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be returning this week from trade negotiations in China and be back in time to meet with Japanese officials.