April 22, 2019
The Honorable Robert Lighthizer
U.S. Trade Representative
600 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20508
Dear Ambassador Lighthizer:
The negotiation and implementation of a U.S.-Japan trade agreement will greatly benefit the U.S. food and agriculture industry while preventing significant losses to the sector. As the fourth largest market for U.S. agricultural products, improved access to Japan is imperative for the continued growth of the sector and the millions of American jobs it helps support.
Unfortunately, the U.S. food and agriculture industry is increasingly disadvantaged by competing regional and bilateral agreements with Japan that have already been implemented, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the European Union-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EU-Japan EPA). In recent weeks, Japan cut tariffs for the second time on agricultural imports from the European Union and CPTPP member countries. As a result, U.S. exporters of wheat, beef, pork, dairy, wine, potatoes, fruits and vegetables, and other products are facing collapse of their Japanese market share as these lucrative sales are handed over to their competitors.
Our agreement with Japan must include market access provisions that at least equal the terms of the CPTPP and the EU-Japan EPA in the first stage of implementation, and where possible build upon those precedents. Further, the agreement must include an accelerated phase-in of tariff cuts to ensure the U.S. is not facing a disadvantage on tariff or TRQ quantity access compared to other countries. Non-tariff barriers, such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures, biotechnology, TRQ administration, and geographical indications, must also be addressed.
On behalf of America’s farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses, we urge the administration to negotiate a bilateral agreement with Japan that restores meaningful access for U.S. food and agriculture and expands opportunities in this important market.
Agri Beef Co.
Agriculture Transportation Coalition
Almond Alliance of California
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Feed Industry Association
American Potato Trade Alliance
American Soybean Association
Animal Health Institute
Associated Milk Producers Inc.
BelGioioso Cheese Inc.
Blue Diamond Growers
California Cherry Export Association
California Dairies, Inc.
Cayuga Milk Ingredients
Commercial Creamery Co.
Corn Refiners Association
Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.
Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative
Foremost Farms USA
Grassland Dairy Products, Inc.
Hilmar Cheese Co.
Hop Growers of America
International Dairy Foods Association
International Ingredient Corporation
James Farrell & Co.
Land O’Lakes, Inc.
Leprino Foods Company
MCT Dairies, Inc
Michigan Milk Producers Association
Midwest Food Products Association
National Association of Egg Farmers
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Beef Packing Company, LLC
National Corn Growers Association
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Grain and Feed Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Pork Producers Council
National Potato Council
National Renderers Association
National Sorghum Producers
National Turkey Federation
North American Export Grain Association
North American Meat Institute
North American Millers’ Association
Northwest Horticultural Council
Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association
Proliant Dairy Ingredients
Saputo Cheese USA Inc.
Sargento Foods Inc.
St. Albans Cooperative Creamery
Sweetener Users Association
Tate & Lyle
Trugman Nash LLC
Tyson Foods, Inc.
United Dairymen of Arizona
United Egg Association
United Egg Producers
United Fresh Produce Association
Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc.
U.S. Apple Association
U.S. Dairy Export Council
U.S. Dry Bean Council
U.S. Grains Council
U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association
U.S. Wheat Associates
USA Poultry & Egg Export Council
William James and Associates, LLC
World Perspectives, Inc.