Trade deal that could benefit Iowa's farmers approved in Japan

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump during their Japan Visit, Photo Date: November 6, 2017 Photo: The White House via MGN.
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TOKYO (AP) - Japan’s Parliament has approved a trade deal that was agreed upon by President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier this year.

The deal cutting tariffs between the countries takes effect at the beginning of next year. It cleared Japan’s upper house Wednesday after clearing the more powerful lower house earlier.

Some critics say the deal is more advantageous to the U.S. since a 2.5% tariff on Japanese automobiles remains.

The deal will pave the way for cheaper American beef and other agricultural products in Japan.

Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, negotiated by the Obama administration.

U.S. farmers have felt they were at a disadvantage compared to Australian or Canadian counterparts.

The U.S. and Japan have agreed to continue talks on trade.

“When President Trump announced a negotiated trade agreement between the United States and Japan, I knew it meant a significant win for Iowa farmers," Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said. "Japan is not only a substantial economic power, but a key export market for Iowa beef, pork and corn. This agreement bolsters exports, provides much-needed relief and stability to Iowa’s ag sector, and places even greater pressure on China.

Japan is Iowa's third largest export destination and the leading export market for pork and beef products. In 2018, Iowa companies exported $1.5 billion in goods to Japan.