On September 25, 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced a new bilateral trade deal between the U.S. and Japan. According to the Office of the USTR, Japan will reduce or eliminate tariffs for certain American agricultural goods, while the U.S. will reduce or eliminate tariffs for certain agricultural imports from Japan. American agricultural goods affected by the deal include beef and pork, wheat and barley, certain nuts and berries, wine, and ethanol, among other miscellaneous agricultural goods. Among Japanese agricultural goods affected are certain plants and flowers, green tea, chewing gum, and soy sauce. The U.S. will also reduce or eliminate tariffs on certain Japanese industrial goods, including certain machine tools, bicycles and bicycle parts, steam turbines, fasteners, and musical instruments.
Additionally, the two countries have agreed to a set of provisions addressing digital trade, ensuring non-discrimination of digital goods and services and prohibiting data localization requirements, allowing barrier-free cross-border data transfers. Conspicuously absent from the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement is any discussion of the removal of auto tariffs on Japanese cars imported by the US.
We will continue to monitor this situation and will provide future updates as developments occur. Please contact Husch Blackwell’s International Trade and Supply Chain team for more information.