(Posted Thu. Apr 25th, 2019)
We know that ratifying USMCA will secure a $3.2 billion export market for corn farmers and provide some certainty as farmers begin the hard work of planting and harvesting their crop. Passing USMCA will also open the door to other markets and new opportunities for American farmers. Locking in USMCA establishes some important new standards for what can be achieved in future trade agreements and would also build confidence in other nations with whom the United States wants to more closely engage.
Japan is the perfect example of a very important long-time customer for the U.S. corn industry and a nation with which a trade agreement is urgent for U.S. agriculture. Japan was the second largest buyer of U.S. corn in the 2017/2018 marketing year, purchasing nearly 13.2 million metric tons (520 million bushels) of corn for a value of $2.39 billion. Japan also serves as the ninth largest buyer of U.S. DDGS, setting a new record for DDGS imports in 2017/2018, increasing 8.4 percent from 2016/2017 to 463,000 metric tons.
NCGA’s farmer members should be encouraged by the recent start to U.S.-Japan trade negotiations and by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the White House later this week, as a signal of mutual benefit and commitment to our ongoing economic partnership. But time is of the essence to capture opportunities not only for corn, but for other segments of our supply chain, like U.S. pork and beef, which are losing market share to major competitors enjoying lower tariffs as a result of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). A U.S. agreement with Japan also presents an opportunity to leverage the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement’s achievements in harmonizing sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) and treatment of technical barriers to trade (TBT).
USMCA, US-Japan, it's all connected. Each new trade agreement creates opportunities for others. The current roster of 20 U.S. trade agreements alone accounts for more than 50 percent of exports of corn and corn-products! Each new market helps diversify an American farmer’s portfolio and ensure that U.S. agriculture remains competitive for generations to come.
It is time to pass USMCA and move forward with an aggressive strategy for engaging with new trading partners. Tell Congress to pass the USMCA through the page at USMCA Take Action.