The United States and Japan have reached agreement on early achievements from negotiations in the areas of market access for certain agriculture and industrial goods, as well as on digital trade. Japan is the third global market for U.S. agricultural exports with nearly $13 billion in exports in 2018.

Once approved and implemented, over 90% of U.S. food and agricultural products imported into Japan will either be duty free or receive preferential tariff access. Under this first-stage initial tariff agreement, Japan will eliminate or reduce tariffs on an additional $7.2b of U.S. food and agricultural products.

Tokyo had sought language that would provide a clear exemption from the tariff threat. Talks hit a temporary snag when Japan pushed the U.S. to agree to a provision that would allow Tokyo to reimpose agriculture tariffs and back out of the agreement Trump followed through with the auto threat. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has announced that at this point it’s “not our intention” to impose tariffs on Japanese cars.

The agreement won’t need congressional approval and can go into effect as soon as it is ratified by Japan’s legislature. The Trump administration said the agreement is the first phase of a more comprehensive agreement that will be negotiated with Tokyo.

Read an overview of the U.S. – Japan Trade Agreement here

Read a fact sheet of the U.S. – Japan Trade Agreement here

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Denise Bode
Bio Link Denise co-leads the federal practice at Michael Best Strategies with expertise in association and coalition management as well as development of public policy strategies, at both the state and federal level. She was active, on behalf of firm clients, during the recent federal tax reform debate, much as she was during the last major tax reform in 1986. Expertise: Regulatory Law, Tax & Trade, Energy, Environmental, Food, Agriculture, and Telecommunications


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