Japan agrees to buy more U.S. corn and wheat

Japan agrees to buy more U.S. corn and wheat
Aug 26, 2019

President Trump and Prime Minister Abe made the announcement during the G7

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

More American corn and wheat will be exported to Asia as part of a potential trade agreement between the United States and Japan.

The two countries reached a preliminary trade agreement during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France. The deal will also benefit the beef, pork, dairy, wine and ethanol industries. It’s is expected to open US$7 billion of market access for U.S. ag.

“This is a massive purchase of wheat also, in addition to everything else,” President Trump said following the negotiations with his Japanese counterpart. “This is a very large purchase of wheat, and the very, very large order of corn will go quickly.”

Japan is purchasing the American corn because Japanese farmers are “now experiencing insect pest(s) on some of the agricultural products,” Prime Minister Abe said through an interpreter.

Officials didn’t disclose any further details of the deal, but both parties hope to officially sign it during the U.N. General Assembly in New York next month.

Japan is a huge market for U.S. agriculture.

The Asian country imported US$12.9 billion of ag goods in 2018 and is America’s fourth largest ag customer.

Expanded trade access for U.S. farmers is always good news, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

“Japan is a significant market for United States agriculture exports, making today a good day for American agriculture,” he said in an Aug. 25 statement. “By removing existing barriers for our products, we will be able to sell more to the Japanese markets.”

The U.S. wheat industry welcomed the news of the trade deal.

The agreement is especially important to the U.S. since President Trump backed out of the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) said.

“We are very happy that this agreement will end the growing competitive cost advantage that Canadian and Australian wheat imports got under the (CPTPP),” Doug Goyings, chairman of the USW, said in an Aug. 25 statement. “We want to say thank you to the negotiators at the U.S. Trade Representative office and at the USDA trade and foreign affairs office for working so hard to prevent more export losses for farmers like me.”

Farms.com has reached out to the National Corn Growers Association for comment.

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