U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) issued the following statement today on President Donald J. Trump announcing a trade deal in principal with Japan:
“Congratulations to President Trump and Prime Minister Abe for securing this trade deal which helps American farmers, workers, and businesses. Japan agreed to purchase significant amounts of our agricultural commodities, including top North Dakota products like wheat and corn. I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration to advance bilateral deals such as this.”
"This is a tremendous deal for the United States. It's a really tremendous deal for our farmers,” President Trump told reporters. “We have excess corn in various parts of our country with our farmers because China did not do what they said they were going to do. And Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on behalf of Japan, they're going to be buying all of that corn."
Japan is the fourth largest export market overall and third largest agricultural export market for the United States, according to the White House. This bilateral deal, expected to be finalized by the end of September, includes increased market access for American agriculture, a substantial reduction in tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and significant progress on a digital trade agreement.
Earlier this month, Senator Cramer spent time with the Japanese Ambassador at their embassy in Washington before traveling to Japan as part of his trip to the Indo-Pacific region. There, he pushed Japan to consider advancing mutually-beneficial trade agreements with the United States- like the one announced this weekend- when he met with Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) Hiroshige Seko.
“With China as a common challenge, and United States farmers sacrificing disproportionately in the Chinese trade dispute, we hope Japan’s negotiators consider advancing mutually-beneficial trade agreements between our countries,” Senator Cramer said at the time. “This would increase our exports and increase their intake of the safe, high-quality products we produce.”