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USTR Includes Dairy Priorities in Trade Negotiation Objectives with Japan

Jan 03, 2019

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) late last month released its negotiating objectives for a bilateral trade pact with Japan. The objectives include several of IDFA’s priorities. Japan is U.S. dairy’s fourth-largest international market, representing sales of more than $290 million.

Several of the administration’s goals align with IDFA’s requests to USTR, specifically measures that focus on:

  • Promoting equitable access to Japan’s agriculture market by eliminating practices such as discrimination toward U.S. agricultural goods, trade distortion and price cutting activities by state-owned enterprises;
  • Eliminating or reducing tariffs on U.S. agricultural products;
  • Eradicating technical barriers to trade, such as by providing reasonable adjustment periods for U.S. import-sensitive agricultural products; and
  • Preventing the undermining of market access for U.S. products through the improper use of Japan’s system for protecting or recognizing geographical indications.

USTR included several other agricultural goals that are of interest to dairy companies, including:

  • Engaging in close consultation with Congress on agricultural products before initiating tariff reduction negotiations;
  • Promoting greater regulatory compatibility to reduce burdens associated with unnecessary differences in regulations and standards, including through regulatory cooperation when appropriate; and
  • Providing for enforceable and robust commitments to Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures that build upon World Trade Organization rights and obligations.

Next Steps

The earliest day that official negotiations can begin is Jan. 20, according to Trade Promotion Authority rules. IDFA will remain engaged throughout the negotiations.

For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA senior director of international affairs, at

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