Ag News

U.S. inks beef deal with EU, makes progress in trade talks with Japan on grain

In early August the United States and the European Union (EU) signed a trade agreement that will allow U.S. beef producers greater access to the European market.

According to United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, U.S. beef exports are expected to grow from $150 million in value to approximately $420 million when the agreement is fully implemented.

Lighthizer, Finland’s Jani Raappana (representing the presidency of the EU) and EU Delegate Stavros Lambrinidis signed the agreement at the White House on Aug. 2.

“America’s ranchers welcome the opportunity to supply a bigger share of Europe’s beef market. This agreement advances a three-decade long effort to expand market opportunities for American agriculture in the EU, and every victory counts,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said. “While this is certainly good news, it’s important for U.S. negotiators to remain committed to reaching a broad trade agreement with the EU that levels the playing field for all farmers and ranchers.”

According to the USTR, the U.S. currently exports approximately 13,000 metric tons per year to the EU. The seven-year agreement will allow that to grow to approximately 35,000 metric tons.

Later in August, President Donald Trump told reporters the U.S. reached an agreement in principle with Japan during the G-7 Summit in France. The deal would give American farmers greater access to Japanese markets, particularly with respect to corn and wheat. Trump said Japanese buyers would be purchasing large quantities of those two commodities under the new deal. Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe each indicated the deal could be finalized in late September.