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Don’t sleep on Japan trade agreement

U.S. trade headlines in 2020 tend to focus on China, Canada and Mexico, and to a lesser extent India and the United Kingdom.

But International Dairy Foods Association president Michael Dykes says he likes to point out the significance of securing a bilateral agreement with Japan in the Fall of 2019.

“Unlike other trade agreements, if we do something it’s upside. If we don’t do anything, we’re kind of status quo. Well that wasn’t true with Japan. If we didn’t do phase one with Japan, we wouldn’t be status quo.”

Instead, he tells Brownfield the U.S. would be at a competitive disadvantage to countries in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“So getting phase one got us on the same tariff schedule, so it was a huge thing for (the U.S.). We just now need to work on phase two and continue to expand our market access opportunities with Japan.”

Dykes calls Japan an extremely important market for U.S. dairy exports.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative says cheese is by far the largest category of U.S. dairy products imported by the Japanese, with a value of more than $156 million in 2018.

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