Next week, Ambassador Katherine Tai will make her fourth trip to Tokyo as United States Trade Representative. Since the start of the Biden-Harris Administration, the United States and Japan have worked tirelessly to strengthen and deepen the bilateral economic and trade relationship.
On November 17, 2021, the United States and Japan announced the formation of the U.S.-Japan Partnership on Trade. Its purpose is to convene regular meetings between the two governments on major trade-related issues. Since the Partnership’s formation, the United States and Japan have delivered key wins for our workers, small businesses, and producers on both sides of the Pacific.
- Japan is currently the United States’ fourth-largest goods trading partner, with total two-way trade valued at nearly $230 billion in 2022.
- U.S. goods exports to Japan in 2022 were valued at $80.3 billion, a 7.7 percent increase from 2021 and a 15 percent increase from 2012.
- According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. goods and services exports to Japan supported approximately 444,000 jobs in 2021.
Below are more details on the key accomplishments Ambassador Tai and USTR have secured through our enhanced engagement with Japan.
A HISTORIC BILATERAL AGREEMENT TO BOOST U.S. BEEF EXPORTS TO JAPAN: In March 2022, USTR and USDA announced that the United States and Japan reached an agreement to increase the beef safeguard trigger level under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. The agreement allows U.S. exporters to meet Japan’s growing demand for high-quality beef, boosting an already-vibrant agricultural export strategy. The agreement was signed on June 2, 2022 and entered into force on January 1, 2023.
According to the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Japan, the United States is now Japan’s top beef supplier for the first time in more than two decades.
A NEW TASK FORCE TO PROMOTE HUMAN RIGHTS AND ELIMINATE FORCED LABOR IN GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS: One of Ambassador Tai’s top priorities as United States Trade Representative is eliminating forced labor in supply chains, including by prohibiting the importation of goods made with forced labor. In January 2023, the United States and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to launch the Task Force on the Promotion of Human Rights and International Labor Standards in Supply Chains.
This task force operates under the U.S.-Japan Partnership on Trade and includes interagency representatives from across the U.S. government as both countries work together to eliminate this malicious practice from global supply chains.
A CRITICAL MINERALS AGREEMENT TO DIVERSIFY KEY SUPPLY CHAINS: In March 2023, the United States and Japan signed a new Agreement that will strengthen and diversify critical minerals supply chains and promote the adoption of electric vehicle battery technologies. Through this Agreement, the United States and Japan will engage in fair competition and promote market-oriented conditions for trade in critical minerals, while advancing robust labor and environmental standards.
NEW BIOFUELS POLICY TO OPEN UP JAPAN’S MARKET FOR U.S. ENERGY PRODUCERS: Following extensive engagement by USTR, USDA and U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, the Government of Japan published a new biofuels policy in March 2023 that will enable the United States to capture up to 100 percent of Japan’s on-road ethanol market. Exports of U.S. ethanol could increase by over 80 million gallons under this new policy, which would represent approximately $150-200 million worth of additional exports annually.