Japan-EU Trade Agreement Threatens US Nut Hegemony

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As early as 2019, the just-signed EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will eliminate tariffs that currently range between 2.4 and 10 percent on almonds,walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans. The terms of the EPA tariff reductions are similar to those outlined in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)—a multilateral trade agreement that, like the EPA, excludes the United States (US).

In 2017, Japan imported $557 million worth of nuts. The US captured $394 million, or 70.7 percent, of that total. The 11 CPTPP members (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam) made up just 6.6 percent of the Japanese nut import market despite many of them having a proximity advantage over the US. The 28 EU countries in aggregate provided a mere one percent of Japan’s imports. This new trade agreement will almost certainly reduce the global competitiveness of US nut exports into Japan. Subscribers use Gro Intelligence data and analysis to stay up-to-date on bilateral trade agreements and their global impacts.

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