US-Japan trade deal clears final hurdle

The Diet, Japan’s Upper House, has approved the trade deal between the US and Japan, clearing the way for its implementation beginning early next year.  The Lower House approved the deal last month and the White House has said the agreement does not need Congressional approval.

The deal was agreed to by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Trump earlier this year and puts the US on a more equal playing field with its competitors.  Japan will lower or remove tariffs on $7.2 billion in US farm goods, most notably the gradual reduction of its duty on US beef down from 38.5 percent to 9 percent.  Other US ag goods, like pork, wine, and cheese will also gain greater market access. 

Negotiators will resume talks for a full trade deal following
the implementation of the first phase of the agreement.