Montana ag leaders praise new U.S.-Japan trade deal

Farmers and ranchers are applauding a new trade agreement signed Monday between the United States and Japan that they say will keep American agricultural products flowing into this lucrative Asian market.

During a White House signing ceremony Monday, President Trump said the new trade agreement will be significant for U.S. farmers and ranchers.

Japan is the U.S. beef cattle industry’s number one export market valued at more than $2 billion.

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., attended the signing ceremony along with Fred Wacker, a rancher from Miles City and president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association.

Wacker says the new agreement is good for both ranchers and Japanese consumers.

“This beef agreement is the most significant beef agreement Montana’s cattle ranchers have ever seen,” Wacker said in a statement released by Daines’ office.

The newly signed trade deal with Japan is also good news for U.S. wheat farmers. U.S. wheat represents about 50 percent of all the wheat Japan imports each year, currently valued at more than $600 million.