President Donald Trump formally signed the U.S.-Japan-Free Trade Agreement on Oct. 6. This agreement locks in tariff benefits with Japan that were previously negotiated under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement but lost when the U.S. failed to ratify it.
According to Jared Balcom, grower in Pasco, Washington, and VP of trade affairs for the National Potato Council, â€œWeâ€™re extremely pleased that the administration has taken this important step. Japan imported more than $400 million of U.S. potato and potato products in 2018. In this agreement, Japan will eliminate tariffs on most potato products, including immediate elimination of the 4.3% tariff on fresh potatoes, and elimination of the 8.5% tariff on frozen French fries over three years. Japan will also phase out the current 20% on dehydrated potatoes in five years.â€
A group of House Ways & Means Democrats led by Chairman Richard Neal (D-NJ) traveled to Mexico to discuss the implementation of USMCAâ€™s labor provisions with Mexican President LÃ³pez Obrador, high-ranking Mexican government officials, as well as Mexican workers and labor leaders.
It was announced Oct. 11 that the US and China had come to agreement on â€œPhase 1â€ of a multi-stage negotiation. A part of this agreement will involve delaying or eliminating the next round of tariff increases that were due to take place.