Strengthening relationships through trade

Washington Report

    Strong trade policy strengthens relationships around the world. Due to the efficiency of our agriculture producers, we have immense opportunity before us to boost our economy and improve diplomacy through trade.  
    Pursuing an agreement with Japan, one of our allies and top trading partners, is a logical place to start.
    The House Ways and Means Committee, on which I serve, has jurisdiction over trade policy. On March 30, I worked with Rep. Ted Yoho, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Chairman on Asia and the Pacific, to introduce H. Res. 236, a resolution urging the Trump administration to start the process of establishing a trade agreement with Japan.
    We cannot afford to miss this opportunity, especially for U.S. agriculture producers.
    The results of U.S. inaction on trade are already evident. For example, Japan currently levies a nearly 40 percent tariff on U.S. beef, while Australia, which established its own agreement with Japan, only pays a 28 percent tariff on the same export. Under the Japan-Australia agreement, these tariffs on Australian beef will be phased down to 19 percent by 2031.
    Knowing the impacts of these trade discrepancies firsthand, agriculture groups are ready to hit the ground running.
    Japan is our fourth-largest trading partner and the leading export market for U.S. beef and pork.
    National Pork Producers Council President Ken Maschhoff, an Illinois pork producer, said a trade agreement with Japan “would exponentially expand our exports and create American jobs. Without one, though, we could lose market share to competitors such as the European Union.”
    Nebraska Cattlemen President Troy Stowater added, “Nebraska currently has a record inventory of beef, and we know our red meat exports are in high demand overseas.”

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