In just days, Japan will begin reducing tariffs and easing quotes on products sold by of the biggest competitors to American agriculture – forcing U.S. farmers to brace for losses, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
The competitors include Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Chile. The move, which begins on Sunday, is part of a new 11-member agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
President Donald Trump had withdrawn the U.S. from the TPP last year, claiming it was an example of an unfair trade practices that hurt American manufacturers and workers.
Meanwhile, Japan will offer similar breaks to other nations on Feb. 1, as part of the European Union-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. That move will aid U.S. agriculture rivals in France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, the newspaper said.
The new free trade push by Japan “threatens to cut into U.S. market share and depress profits for U.S. agriculture exporters by granting preferential access to…internal competitors,” a May report by the Agriculture Departments warned.
And Vince Peterson of the U.S Wheat Associates said competitors will soon have the ability to sell their products at a tariff rate almost 10 percent below what U.S. growers are facing.
“Japan is our largest, most reliable and valuable market,” he said. “But today we face an imminent collapse.”
Administration officials say are hoping to negotiate a U.S. free-trade agreement with Japan that would offer similar provisions and rectify the problem. But talks are still weeks away, the Journal reported.
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