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Thursday, September 26, 2019

U.S. and Japan Announce Early Trade Agreement Commitments

On September 25th, President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe announced that the United States and Japan have, as a result of early negotiations of a free trade agreement, reached consensus in the areas of market access for certain agriculture and industrial goods, as well as on digital trade. Specifically—

  • Japan has agreed to eliminate or lower tariffs on certain U.S. agricultural products, or provide preferential U.S.-specific quotas for wheat products and import surges of beef and pork. Once an agreement is implemented, over 90% of U.S. agricultural products imported into Japan will be duty-free or will receive preferential tariff access.
  • The United States has agreed to eliminate or lower tariffs on 42 tariff lines for agricultural imports from Japan valued at $40 million in 2018 (e.g., certain perennial plants and cut flowers, persimmons, green tea, chewing gum, and soy sauce).
  • The United States has also agreed to reduce or eliminate tariffs on certain industrial goods from Japan (e.g., certain machine tools, fasteners, steam turbines, bicycles, bicycle parts, and musical instruments).
  • The United States and Japan have reached a separate agreement addressing digital trade reflecting the digital trade rules provided under the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USCMA) which would—
  • Prohibit customs duties on digital products transmitted electronically (e.g., videos, music, e-books, software, and games).
  • Ensure non-discriminatory treatment of digital products, including coverage of tax measures.
  • Ensure barrier-free cross-border data transfers in all sectors.
  • Prohibit data localization requirements, including for financial service suppliers.
  • Prohibit arbitrary access to computer source code and algorithms.
  • Ensure firms’ flexibility to use innovative encryption technology in their products.


Miller Proctor Law PLLC will continue to track the developments of the U.S.-Japan trade agreement. If you have any questions relating to the negotiation of the agreement or other international trade-related issues, please contact Melissa Proctor (melissa@millerproctorlaw.com) or Peggy Chaplin Louie (peggy@millerproctorlaw.com) at Miller Proctor Law PLLC (https://millerproctorlaw.com ).

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Please contact us should you have any questions about these recent developments or other international trade issues.

Melissa M. Proctor
President and CEO
Peggy Chaplin Louie
Senior Attorney
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