Trade mission in Japan creates additional market access, reduces barriers

A US trade delegation is in Japan this week working to increase demand and reduce trade barriers for US ag products.

USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor says Japanese consumers want more American-grown food and fuel. “They are seeking out really high-quality products. They are really gravitating towards products that have health or wellness attributes. They also look for a compelling story. They’re really interested in who that farmer, rancher and food processor are and what their story is. And I think we have some really amazing stories to showcase.”

During a call with reporters Thursday, Taylor said she addressed about tariffs with Japanese leaders hoping to create a more competitive market. “SPS issues, technical barriers to trade – those are definitely challenges exporters are having in the Indo Pacific region and bringing home science based regulatory approach to this part of the world is going to be really important to our food and Ag sector.”

Indiana Department of Ag Director and farmer Don Lamb said the trip was an opportunity to see how trade missions work first-hand. “I think trade so much of the time to a farmer or somebody at home seems like something that’s just out there and maybe out of touch, out of hand and you don’t really understand how it works? And so for me, that was the best part of this trip, was seeing the reality of those negotiations make a difference.”

Lamb said he met with a company that imports Indiana poultry products.

Representatives from the California, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska and North Dakota departments of agriculture were also on the trip.

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