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Trade Agreement Holds Potential for Montana Ag Producers


October 16, 2019

In the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Monday, October 7, in Washington D.C., Montana Senator Steve Daines and President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association, Fred Wacker from Miles City, were present for the signing of the U.S.-Japan trade agreement. According to the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the agreement should deliver several million dollars in beef prices for Montana.

Calling Monday a historic day for Montana agriculture, as this trade agreement will help level the playing field for Montana ranchers and farmers in Japan’s critical export market, Daines outlined three key benefits to Montana:

• Reducing tariffs on fresh and frozen beef and pork from 38.5% to 9% by 2033

• Providing a quota for wheat and wheat products

• Reducing the mark-up on imported U.S. wheat and barley

“This is a major step forward for opening up critical markets for our producers,” Daines reported in an online newsletter. “This allows our Montana farmers and ranchers to compete on a level playing field with other international competitors who are also selling to the Japanese market. Japan is our largest beef export market, and with this trade deal, over 90% of U.S. food and ag products are going to have access to free and fair trade into Japan.”

Although the benefits in the new trade agreement for Montana wheat farmers were less clear, Daines, who serves on the Senate Finance Committee, claimed that wheat farmers would benefit from grain-buying quota terms in the trade agreement.

Daines, who had pressed the U.S. trade representative about getting the trade deal with Japan signed, stated about the trade deal: “It not only provides a country specific quota for wheat and wheat products, it reduces the mark up, which is just another form of a tariff on U.S. wheat and barley.”


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