LINCOLN, NEB. – “Ever since the President pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, we have urged the Administration to follow through on its promise of developing bilateral free trade agreements with TPP member countries, especially Japan. Today’s announcement that the United States and Japan have agreed to enter trade talks is tremendous news and couldn’t have come at a better time.”

“Japan is already our largest trading partner for Nebraska beef, and a major purchaser of Nebraska agriculture commodities including pork, corn, soybeans, wheat, grain sorghum, and dairy products. There is no doubt that a bilateral agreement with Japan would be a major win for Nebraska farmers and ranchers if the U.S. is able to reach an agreement with similar terms to those previously negotiated under the TPP, specifically as it relates to tariff reduction on agriculture products.”

“TPP was projected to be a boon for Nebraska agriculture, increasing agriculture cash receipts by more than $378 million per year when fully implemented, with much of that gain attributed to increased trade with Japan. If the U.S. can lower Japan’s existing 38.5 percent tariff on U.S. beef which was slated to gradually decline to 9 percent under TPP, that would be a major victory for Nebraska, the ‘beef state’.”

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 61,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org.