Midlands officials’ reactions to news of a possible trade deal with Japan on beef and other products:

Steve Nelson, President of the Nebraska Farm Bureau: “News that the U.S. and Japan are moving closer to securing a bilateral trade deal is great news for Nebraska farmers and ranchers, especially our beef and pork producers. Japan is a critical market for Nebraska and one that we’ve needed to find a way to better tap into since the U.S. opted not to be a part of the larger Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.”

Gov. Pete Ricketts: “For Nebraska, our trade relationship with Japan is one of our most important. ... Getting this trade deal done and lowering tariffs for our beef and pork is vital for Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers as well as our Japanese customers.”

Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb.: “This preliminary deal would bring great opportunities to Nebraska farmers and ranchers, and I’m pleased to see President Trump working to fulfill his promises to provide them with more certainty.” She said as part of the deal, Japan would make substantial purchases of surplus U.S. corn and increase imports of beef and pork.

Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb: “The reduction of trade barriers between the U.S. and Japan would benefit producers and consumers alike. Without the reduction of these barriers, the U.S. will lose ground in key markets to competing nations such as Australia.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa: “It appears that the Japanese have agreed to provide new access for U.S. dairy, pork, ethanol, beef, wine and wheat in return for the elimination of U.S. tariffs on industrial goods.” This “welcome development,” he said, “arrives at a time when farmers are hurting, in need of new market access opportunities and a chance to compete on a level playing field with agriculture all over the globe.”

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