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U.S. and Japan Sign Trade Agreement

Oct 10, 2019

On October 7, 2019, USTR Robert Lighthizer and the Ambassador of Japan to the United States Shinsuke J. Sugiyama signed the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement.

Under this agreement, Japan’s 40 percent cheese tariffs will be eliminated in 15 years, with whey duties eliminated in 5 to 20 years, depending on the type. A transitional U.S. tariff-rate quota (CSQ) will be established for 9,000 metric tons of whey products, and U.S. processed cheese will have a 150 metric ton permanent CSQ.

Japan will immediately eliminate its 8.5 percent tariffs on lactose and lactose syrup and its 2.9 percent tariff on milk albumin that includes whey proteins. Additionally, Japan will establish a new 750 metric ton global tender within its WTO tariff-rate quota for milk powder with protein content of 35 percent or higher.

Japan may apply two safeguards for whey products during the tariff transition period and for a limited period beyond. For years 1 through 4, the safeguard quantity is for U.S. product only. From years 5 until termination, the safeguard trigger is calculated as an aggregate of U.S. and CP-TPP countries shipments.

IDFA's fact sheet on the U.S.-Japan deal is here.

USTR released side letters on skimmed milk powder (SMP) and whey.

There are also some new fact sheets which can be found on USTR’s website by following the links below:

IDFA will continue to analyze the details of this agreement and will provide updates shortly. More information on China and other pending and new trade deals can be found in IDFA's Trade Toolkit. Please direct all questions to Beth Hughes, senior director of international affairs.

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