Following a visit in May to China, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney is currently finishing up a trade mission to Japan, joined by representatives from 42 separate businesses and 15 state departments of agriculture seeking to expand export opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products.
Companies involved sell wine, craft beer, coffee, nut crops, honey, soy, corn, rice, beef, lamb, fruits, processed goods, as well as ethanol and animal veterinary products and genetics. Beef access in Japan has been a topic of contention with the U.S. livestock industry, and McKinney optimistically noted the U.S. was “hopeful for greater access as they resolve some of the restrictions on the age of beef.”
Reportedly, the U.S. and Japan have been holding an “ongoing economic dialogue” which McKinney described as a step short of formal trade talks. Regarding the concerns for risks of further tariffs due to the push against steel and aluminum imports, McKinney has stated that representatives on the trade mission are upbeat about Japan’s sale prospects at the moment.
International trade missions are intended to forge relationships with potential customers, gather market intelligence, and generate sales. Future trade missions scheduled for 2018 will take place in Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, and South Korea.
K·Coe Isom’s Federal Affairs team is monitoring developments around trade opportunities for farmers. Contact us for more information regarding trade benefits for your business, or visit Farmers for Free Trade to learn more about supporting and expanding export opportunities for American farms and ranches.