Wheat aharvest

The Japanese parliament has approved a new agricultural trade agreement with the U.S.

Japan’s parliament Dec. 4 approved the new agricultural trade agreement with the U.S., a move that was welcomed by American wheat farmers, who say the deal will put them on a level playing field with competitors in Canada and Australia.

“It keeps our exports on par with Australia and Canada, which is what we asked for,” said Darren Padget, vice chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates and an Oregon Wheat Commission board member. Padget farms in Grass Valley, Ore.

Japan represents roughly 10% of U.S. wheat exports, Padget said.

The agreement is slated to go into effect Jan. 1, following its publication in the Federal Register, said Steve Mercer, U.S. Wheat vice president of communications.

“Approval of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement is one of the most important trade policy victories in many years for U.S. wheat farmers and their customers in Japan,” said Vince Peterson, U.S. Wheat president, in a press release. “U.S. Wheat Associates appreciates the swift consideration of the agreement by Japan’s National Diet (parliament) and offers its thanks again to our trade negotiators and USDA officials who understand why it was so vital to see U.S. wheat exports gain equal footing again with competing supplies from Canada and Australia.”

Padget said the industry next hopes for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to be signed.

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