Japan’s Parliament on Wednesday, Dec. 4, approved a US-Japan trade deal that is taking effect at the beginning of 2020 and bringing good news for American farmers.

The deal cutting tariffs between the countries was signed by President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sept. 25. It cleared Japan’s upper house Wednesday after clearing the more powerful lower house earlier.

The deal will pave the way for cheaper American beef and other agricultural products in Japan. 

The president called the US-Japan trade deal the “first stage of a phenomenal new trade agreement” and described it as “outlining the significant steps we’re taking toward a fair and reciprocal trade agreement.”

“This is a big chunk, but in the fairly near future we’re going to be having a lot more comprehensive deals signed with Japan,” President Trump said on Sept. 25.

Japan, which imports U.S. farm products worth $14 billion, is America’s third-largest market. The United States and Japan have agreed to continue talks on trade, and the auto tariffs are likely to come up in the talks.

The White House and Abe explained in a joint statement, “The United States-Japan Trade Agreement will eliminate or reduce tariffs on certain agricultural and industrial products to enhance bilateral trade in a robust, stable, and mutually beneficial manner between our nations, which together account for approximately 30 percent of global gross domestic product.”

President Donald J. Trump participates in bilateral meeting with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe following the signing of a trade agreement between the United States and Japan on Sept. 25, 2019,  in New York City. ( Shealah Craighead/Official White House Photo)

The president said Japan will open new markets to approximately $7 billion in U.S. agriculture products and tariffs would “now be significantly lower or eliminated entirely” on American beef, pork, wheat, cheese, corn, wine, and more.

“This is a huge victory for America’s farmers, ranchers, and growers, and that’s very important to me,” he asserted.

The deal also covers commitments on $40 billion in digital trade between the countries, “which will greatly expand commerce across cutting edge products and services.”

White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro told Fox News about the deal, “It was the most amazing renegotiation we’ve had with a multilateral organization.” He added that the US-Japan deal will net Americans billions of dollars, tens of thousands of jobs.

Japan is one of the largest export markets and trading partners for the United States. In 2018, U.S.-Japan trade in goods and services surpassed $300 billion, U.S. goods and services exports reached a total of $121.1 billion, increasing 6 percent from 2017, according to the Export.gov.

President Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, negotiated by the Obama administration. But the Trump administration quickly negotiated bilateral trade deals with a number of countries, such as UMSCA deal with Canada and Mexico, which has been held up by the House Democrats.

Includes reporting from the Associated Press

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