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Impact: U.S. Trade Agreement with Japan

Historic Agreement to Bring Trade Benefits

October 25, 2019

On October 7, the United States and Japan signed a historic trade agreement which should dramatically increase US exports to Japan, especially agricultural products.

Japan has agreed to eliminate or lower tariffs on a number of US agricultural products; for other products Japan will now provide preferential US-specific quotas. All in all, over 90% of US food and agricultural products imported into Japan will either be duty free or receive preferential tariff access under the new treaty. For example, Japan will:

  • Reduce tariffs on products such as fresh and frozen beef and pork.
  • Provide a country-specific quota for wheat and wheat products.
  • Reduce the mark-up on imported U.S. wheat and barley.
  • Immediately eliminate tariffs for almonds, walnuts, blueberries, cranberries, sweet corn, grain sorghum, broccoli, and more.
  • Provide staged tariff elimination for products such as cheeses, processed pork, poultry, beef offal, ethanol, wine, frozen potatoes, oranges, fresh cherries, egg products, and tomato paste.


The treaty contains a number of additional ground-breaking provisions, including a comprehensive set of provisions addressing priority areas of digital trade. 

The following fact sheets regarding the treaty’s impact on US agriculture illustrate the magnitude of the projected impact of this treaty:


Few attorneys understand the opportunities and dynamics of global trade better than Nexsen Pruet's David Robinson, Special Counsel and International Business attorney. Based in Raleigh, N.C., he assists clients in cross-border transactions around the world. He helps global businesses integrate corporate compliance and operational programs into subsidiary operations, facilitate the transfer of personnel among operations, comply with export control and boycott regulations and negotiate commercial and joint venture relationships.

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