U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today joined President Trump at the White House for the official signing ceremony of an historic trade agreement between the United States and Japan. Daines invited Montana rancher and President of the Montana Stockgrowers Association, Fred Wacker, to join him and other key officials at the signing ceremony at the White House.
To watch the full video click HERE.
“Today is a historic day for Montana ag, as this trade agreement will help level the playing field for Montana ranchers and farmers in Japan’s critical export market,” Daines said. “It was an honor to have led this fight in the Senate on behalf of Montana’s farmers and ranchers and I was thrilled to join the President today at the White House as he signed this critical deal.” Click HERE to download audio.
Montana Stockgrowers Association President, Fred Wacker, joined Daines at the White House today and commended Daines’ leadership during the negotiation process.
“This beef agreement is the most significant beef agreement Montana’s cattle ranchers have ever seen,” Wacker said. “I appreciate Senator Daines’ leadership in getting this done, and it was an honor to represent Montana’s ranchers and the Montana Stockgrowers Association at the White House today.”
With this agreement, Montana farmers and ranchers will be able to compete on a level-playing field with Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) competitors in selling to the Japanese market.
Key benefits to Montana:
- Reduce tariffs on products such as fresh and frozen beef and pork (from 38.5% to 27.6% and eventually 9% by 2033)
- Provide a country-specific quota for wheat and wheat products
- Reduce the mark-up on imported U.S. wheat and barley
Daines has been active voice for Montana’s ag priorities with Japan and Asia.
In late September, Daines celebrated the initial announcement by President Trump and Prime Minster Abe that a deal had been reached.
In mid-June, Daines questioned U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer during a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing on U.S. agriculture exports to Japan.
In early March, Daines in U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing urged United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to advance and finalize trade agreements with Japan and China to put Montana farmers and ranchers on a level playing field in the global stage.
On April 24, 2018, U.S. Senator Steve Daines pressed USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to support reconsidering the Trans-Pacific Partnership and that the TPP would benefit U.S. and Montana agriculture. Secretary Perdue agreed and has urged the President to reconsider TPP.
On April 12, 2018, at a White House meeting with President Donald Trump, U.S. Senator Steve Daines voiced the concerns of Montana farmers and ranchers to the President by urging the President to expand access to markets critical to the agriculture community.
On February 16, 2018, Daines led 25 senators in sending a letter to President Trump urging the President to act on his recent statements expressing interest in considering an improved TPP.