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How Michigan Beef Can Benefit from Japan Trade Deal

The Michigan ag industry is keeping track of the latest conversations with trade talks with Japan with a deal tentatively linked, and a possible opportunity with China.

Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Ag Retailers Association, says Michigan’s beef industry can benefit from a Japanese trade agreement.

“It will help the beef producers primarily, it’ll equalize tariffs into Japan with those that other countries are enjoying,” said Byrum. “We’ve actually been losing market share in Japan because under [the former] TPP, we’ve been at an economic disadvantage. That’s going to be a win for especially beef, but other ag products as well.

It appears China will come back to the table, but Byrum isn’t too optimistic, saying it will depend on what, if anything, is tweeted by President Trump.

“I don’t think anybody is happy with the current situation,” he said. “We have to trade—we can’t consume everything we produce here. We have to export it around the world, and China was the big player, and hopefully will be again.”

Byrum also suggests that farmers have options next year when it comes to purchasing seeds, developing crop nutrient strategies, and keeping in touch with ag retailers.