USGC: US-Japan partnership on trade launched

By U.S. Grains Council | December 21, 2021

The United States and Japan recently announced the launching of a “partnership on trade” to continue to strengthen the alliance of the two nations through regular engagement on trade-related matters.

Chaired by representatives of the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and of Japan’s Foreign Affairs and Economy, Industry and Trade ministries, the U.S.-Japan Partnership on Trade will build upon the Biden administration’s plan to pursue an economic framework for the Indo-Pacific region, while also addressing digital trade and third-country concerns.

The U.S. Grains Council has been working in the Japan market for 60 years, contributing to the rapid growth of the livestock and feed industries.

“The U.S. Grains Council values the relationships it has built in Japan over the years,” said Ryan LeGrand, USGC president and CEO. “As this new trade partnership develops, the Council looks forward to working with the U.S. and Japan to further promote trade between the two nations.”

This past year, the Council worked hard to continue to build upon its longstanding relationship between the U.S. and Japan by providing virtual programming when in-person activities were not possible. Product developers from the largest health-oriented food barley industry in Japan learned about new opportunities in health-oriented foods – including U.S. high beta-glucan barley via webinar, while the North Asia Virtual Crop Tour gave Japanese buyers and end-users an inside look at this year’s corn crop in the U.S. without leaving their workspace. A recent Council-sponsored ethanol study also concluded that all vehicles in Japan are highly likely to be compatible with E10.

In the most recent marketing year, Japan was a top market across all commodities, ranking as the third-largest market for grains in all forms with exports of more than 14.5 million metric tons (equal to 573.5 million bushels), valued at $6.9 billion.

Japan purchased 11.2 million metric tons (442.3 million bushels) of U.S. corn; 33,700 metric tons (1.3 million bushels) of U.S. sorghum; 18,300 metric tons (841,100 bushels) of U.S. barley and barley products; 475,560 metric tons of U.S. DDGS; and an estimated total of 89.1 million gallons (31.6 million bushels) of U.S. ethanol included in ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) exports during the 2020/2021 marketing year.

The first meetings under the new partnership are expected to be held in early 2022 and will be followed by others held on a regular basis to advance the shared agenda of cooperation between the two countries.

The Council will continue to monitor the newly formed partnership on trade after the first of the year and what it could mean for U.S. corn, sorghum, barley and co-products.