(Bloomberg) — The U.S. needs to make moving toward a trade pact with Japan an “extraordinary” priority.
That’s according to Gregg Doud, the chief agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Speaking at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s annual outlook forum in Arlington, Virginia, Doud emphasized the importance of talks with Japan at time when rival commodity suppliers have already inked accords.
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While Canada, Australia and the European Union have all recently secured new or adjusted trade deals with Japan, the U.S. has not. Farmers, agriculture lenders and industry analysts have all expressed concern that without a deal, the U.S. could lose its edge with a customer that regularly imports about $14 billion a year in American agriculture and farm-related products.
“I can’t emphasize enough how critical it is to engage with Japan as quickly as we can,” Doud said.
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