Tariff agreement boosts US wheat access to Japan

Grain Central October 8, 2019

UNITED States wheat imported into Japan will receive the same preferential advantage that is now given to Canadian and Australian wheat following the signing of a tariff agreement between the US and Japan under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Japan’s Diet must approve the agreement before it is implemented.

US Wheat Associates (USW) president Vince Peterson, who attended the signing at the White House today, said the agreement would put US wheat back on equal footing with wheat from Canada and Australia when it was implemented.

“In addition, Japan has agreed to open country specific quotas for U.S. wheat and wheat product imports. The Trump Administration and negotiators for both countries clearly understood what was at stake for U.S. wheat farmers and made sure to have our backs in this agreement.”

The US National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) president and Lavon, Texas, farmer Ben Scholz, said the agreement was a major milestone for US wheat growers.

Under the agreement, Japan’s effective tariff on imported US wheat will drop to the same level Japanese flour millers now pay for Canadian and Australian wheat.

Mr Scholz said since the CPTPP agreement entered into force last December, market factors had kept US wheat competitive.

“Without this new agreement, however, US wheat imports would have become less and less cost competitive to the point that Japan’s flour millers would have no other choice than to buy more of the lower cost wheat from the CPTPP member countries,” he said.

US wheat represents about 50 per cent of all the wheat Japan imports each year, currently valued at more than $600 million.

That volume represents more than 10pc of total annual US wheat exports, generally benefiting all US wheat farmers and specifically farmers from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern and Central Plains states.

Source: USW, NAWG




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