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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts: Japan Trade Agreement “A Big Win” for Nebraska Farmers and Ranchers

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Justin Pinkerman, 402-471-1967


Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts: Japan Trade Agreement “A Big Win” for Nebraska Farmers and Ranchers


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following news that Japan’s National Diet had approved a new trade agreement with the United States.  The agreement was negotiated earlier this year by President Donald J. Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.


“Thank you to our friends in Japan for swiftly approving this new trade agreement,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “President Trump’s deal with Japan is a big win for Nebraska farmers and ranchers and for Japanese consumers.  It reduces Japan’s tariffs on beef, pork, corn, and other Nebraska-grown crops, which will help expand what is already Nebraska’s top market for ag exports.  Breaking down these barriers will grow the longstanding friendship between our two countries and give our Japanese customers even greater access to our high quality food.”




In 2018, Nebraska exported more than $1.1 billion of agricultural products to Japan.  Last year, Japan bought more Nebraska beef, pork, wheat, and eggs than any other country.  Japan is also the second-largest export market for Nebraska corn.  Here is the total dollar value of Nebraska’s top three ag exports to Japan.


  • Beef: $412.1 million (29% of all Nebraska beef exports)
  • Corn: $333.9 million (22% of all Nebraska corn exports)
  • Pork: $262.7 million (56% of all Nebraska pork exports)


Japan is also the leading international investor in Nebraska.  Kawasaki and other Japanese companies support around 9,400 jobs across the state.




Background provided by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in September:


  • The United States and Japan have reached an agreement in which Japan will eliminate or lower tariffs for certain U.S. agricultural products.  For other agricultural goods, Japan will provide preferential U.S.-specific quotas.    
  • Once this agreement is implemented, over 90 percent of U.S. food and agricultural products imported into Japan will either be duty-free or receive preferential tariff access.  For example, under the agreement, Japan will:
    • Reduce tariffs on products such as fresh and frozen beef and pork.
    • Provide a country-specific quota for wheat and wheat products.
    • Reduce the mark-up on imported U.S. wheat and barley.
    • Immediately eliminate tariffs for almonds, walnuts, blueberries, cranberries, sweet corn, grain sorghum, broccoli, and more.
    • Provide staged tariff elimination for products such as cheeses, processed pork, poultry, beef offal, ethanol, wine, frozen potatoes, oranges, fresh cherries, egg products, and tomato paste. 
  • This agreement provides for the limited use of safeguards by Japan for surges in imports of beef, pork, whey, oranges, and racehorses, which will be phased out over time.
  • When the agreement is implemented by Japan, American farmers and ranchers will have the same advantage as CP-TPP countries selling into the Japanese market.
  • The United States will provide tariff elimination or reduction on 42 tariff lines for agricultural imports from Japan valued at $40 million in 2018, including products such as certain perennial plants and cut flowers, persimmons, green tea, chewing gum, and soy sauce.
  • The United States will also reduce or eliminate tariffs on certain industrial goods from Japan such as certain machine tools, fasteners, steam turbines, bicycles, bicycle parts, and musical instruments.


More information can be found by clicking here.


The trade agreement between the U.S. and Japan is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2020.