Market News & Headlines >> U.S. May Seek Quick Ag Trade Deal With Japan

The U.S. might opt for a narrower and quicker trade deal with Japan that would address agricultural products, instead of a more comprehensive agreement, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said on Tuesday. 

"We want a quick resolution of our agricultural request here ... maybe temporarily that could then be fleshed out over longer period," Perdue told reporters, according to Reuters News Service. He said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is the chief negotiator for Washington's trade talks, was interested in getting a deal sooner rather than later. 

"Maybe not a comprehensive type of bilateral trade negotiations but certainly one that seals down the agricultural issues that we are concerned about. I think we can get that done quickly," Perdue told reporters. 

U.S. agricultural products could lose market share in Japan to other countries that now enjoy reduced tariff rates following the enactment of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).  Trump pulled the U.S. out of the TPP shortly after he took office. 

Perdue on Tuesday also said USDA has no active plans to provide more aid to farmers, bout can consider the option if trade negotiations and weak commodities prices drag on.    "We have been very clear to the agriculture community that we did not anticipate nor should they anticipate a 2019 Market Facilitation Program," Perdue told reporters. 

On Monday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the administration was ready to provide more aid if necessary. But Perdue said he was not aware of any such plans at the moment.