Japan and the U.S. are “working hard” to reach a trade agreement, according to those close to the negotiations. A Japanese official told Reuters this week, “Our team is now working pretty hard, so we are looking forward to some news in the near future.” The U.S. and Japan are reportedly working on a small trade deal involving agriculture and autos. The trade talks between Japan and the U.S. began earlier this year. A deal could be finalized for agreement in September when President Trump will meet with Japan’s prime minister. Industry officials say the deal could offer U.S. farmers new market access in return for a reduction on tariffs for Japanese auto parts.
Farmers have pleaded for better access to Japan since Trump removed the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, now renamed and in place. The TPP replacement gave other nations a competitive advantage over U.S. farm products, such as pork and beef, giving Japanese buyers incentive to look beyond the U.S. for products.