INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) and the Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) celebrate the trade agreement announced Sept. 25 between the United States and Japan. U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe released news of the agreement during the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York.
Japan agreed to cut or eliminate tariffs on corn, beef, pork and other commodities similar to what Tokyo agreed to in the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a deal President Trump withdrew from after taking office in January 2017. “Japanese tariffs will now be significantly lower or eliminated entirely for U.S. beef, pork, wheat, cheese, corn, wine, and so much more,” Trump said.
“Hoosier farmers grow a lot of corn for many uses every year,” said ICGA President Sarah Delbecq, who farms near Auburn, Ind. “For Indiana farmers to remain sustainable and competitive, we need to maintain foreign markets for our crops. This deal with Japan continues and strengthens the relationship between Hoosier corn farmers and an important trading partner.”
Congress may vote soon to ratify the tri-lateral U.S., Mexico and Canada (USMCA) trade deal, which should also benefit Indiana corn and soybean growers. As well, the Trump Administration expects trade agreements with India and the United Kingdom in the next few months.
“I’m pleased to hear that this deal with Japan is beneficial to livestock producers,” said Shelbyville, Ind., farmer Phil Ramsey, who also serves as chair of the ISA’s Membership and Policy Committee. “Livestock is the No. 1 customer of Indiana soybeans, and we’re excited to see new markets open up for these products.”
The agreement will not need congressional approval and is effective 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 Japan.
“While this is the first in several rounds of agreements yet to come and we hope to see continued improvement in the ethanol sector, this is a good first step. We encourage the administration to pursue broader access for all of agriculture and we move forward with our partner, Japan,” said U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Ryan LeGrand.
“The U.S.-Japan agreement announced by the President will solidify our longstanding partnership for the future and create a platform for growth into new sales and new sectors, including the potential for sales of U.S. ethanol. Japan is one of the largest and most loyal U.S. corn customers, having bought more than $2 billion of U.S. corn in the most recent marketing year. … And as a country looking to improve the environmental impact of its fuel, it is an important future market for U.S. ethanol products.”
— Indiana Soybean Alliance/Indiana Corn Growers Association
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