The U.S. formally announced it will seek trade agreements with Japan, the European Union and the United Kingdom. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced this week that the U.S. will seek to negotiate three separate trade agreements with Japan, the EU and the U.K.
The European Union has downplayed the announcement, despite ongoing exploratory talks since this summer. The EU has previously stated that agriculture would not be negotiated in any free trade agreement with the United States. However, in the announcement, Lighthizer says he is committed to negotiating “with timely and substantive results for American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses.”
U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement today after the administration notified Congress of its intention to negotiate trade agreements with Japan, the European Union, and the United Kingdom: “Opening up new markets for Nebraska producers is the best way to ensure they can prosper and feed the world. I welcome the start of trade negotiations between our country and Japan, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. I’m optimistic President Trump and the administration will make good deals for our ag producers and manufacturers.”
The Trump administration intends to negotiate the trade agreements under Trade Promotion Authority, which allows for a simple yes or no approval by Congress, without amendments. U.S. goods and services trade with the EU totaled nearly $1.2 trillion in 2017, while trade with Japan totaled an estimated $283.6 billion in 2017.