Trump signs US-Japan trade pact with high priority for farmers

Washington: US President Donald Trump on Monday (local time) signed a trade agreement with Japan that he said would help America’s farmers and ranchers.

The president said that the new deal was “a tremendous victory for both of our nations. It will create countless jobs, expand investment and commerce, reduce our trade deficit substantially, promote fairness and reciprocity, and unlock vast opportunities for growth.”

US farmers have been operating at a disadvantage in Japan since Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which had been negotiated by the Obama administration. The president had called the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement a terrible deal for the US, The Hill reported.

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The other 11 Pacific Rim countries, including big farm producers such as New Zealand and Canada, went ahead without the US and were getting preferential treatment in Japan.

While rewarding American farmers, the new US-Japan deal do not resolve differences over trade in autos. The US President also threatened to impose import taxes on foreign autos, claiming that they pose a threat to US national security.

At the UN General Assembly, last month in New York, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that Trump had assured him that a previous agreement to spare Japan from new auto tariffs still stood.
Trump has said the two countries should continue to work on a more comprehensive agreement.

The trade pact also includes market-opening commitments on USD40 billion worth of digital trade between the two countries.

The US President has since a long time complained about America’s large trade deficit with Japan that amounted to USD58 billion last year.

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