Gov. Doug Burgum released the following statement today regarding the White House’s announcement that President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have reached a trade agreement in principle.
“Japan is already North Dakota’s No. 5 export market, and with this trade agreement it will become an even more important market for the corn, soybeans, beef and other quality goods produced by our farmers and ranchers, who are among the world’s best and can compete with anyone on a level playing field,” Burgum said. “We’re grateful to President Trump and his administration for their persistent efforts on this deal, which will open up Japanese markets to over $7 billion in U.S. goods. Now it’s time for Congress to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to strengthen trade with North Dakota’s top two trading partners, promote job creation and grow the economy.”
Japan was North Dakota’s fifth-largest export market last year based on dollar value at $36 million, after Canada ($6.9 billion), Mexico ($228 million), Australia ($144 million) and Germany ($60 million).
Last September, Burgum met with Japanese leaders at the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association’s 50th annual conference in Omaha, which promotes trade and cooperation between the two countries. At the conference, Burgum met with leaders from multiple areas of the Japanese government, including Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Shinsuke J. Sugiyama and prefecture governors, along with several industry leaders, highlighting areas for investment in North Dakota. Last year marked the first year of North Dakota’s involvement in the association.
“Japan has a population of nearly 127 million people in an area the size of North Dakota and South Dakota combined. We have food and energy to export, and Japan needs to import food and energy. And Japan respects international protection of intellectual property. The United States has a huge opportunity to make a great trading partner an even more strategic ally,” Burgum said.