G-7 summit: Trump strikes 'billion-dollar' trade deal with Japan

A deal is all but sealed with Japan.

President Donald Trump confirming, "it’s a very big transaction and we’ve agreed in principle," while speaking beside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in France after a meeting at the G-7 summit.

Trump said the prime minister agreed to purchase some of U.S. farmers’ corn, blaming China for the excess product on farmers' hands.

He expects the billion-dollar deal to be sealed by the time the U.N. General Assembly meets in mid-September.

“This is a tremendous deal for the United States, really a tremendous deal for our farmers and agriculture,” along with e-commerce, per the president.

Abe called the deal a “win-win,” describing the talks through a translator as a "series of intensive negotiations."

"We still have some remaining work that has to be done at the working level, to finalize the wording and content in the deal," he explained.

The Japanese prime minister noted their country was experiencing an insect problem on certain agricultural products, and that the private sector would be purchasing U.S. corn products to offset the issue. He said an emergency may need to be declared to accelerate the buy.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer broke down the agreement into three parts:

  • Agriculture
  • Reduction of industrial tariffs
  • Digital trade

“From our point of view it is extremely important for our farmers and ranchers and those who work in the digital space,” he said, noting Japan is “our third largest advocate to market.” Already the island imports $14 billion in agricultural products, and Lighthizer said the agreement would open up $7 billion more.

Within agriculture, the USTR official said it will be huge for the beef, pork, wheat, dairy products, wine, ethanol “and a variety of other products.”

The U.S. sells more than $2 billion in beef to Japan, and Lighthizer said a reduction in tariffs will “allow us to do so with lower tariffs and to compete more effectively with people” in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries and Europe.

Exact details on the deal would be revealed later, per the USTR.

Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo explained on Fox & Friends Sunday morning the significance of the agreement related to the trade war against China.

“The underlying real positive here really, in my view, is the fact that the president is gaining allies when it comes to the fight against China.”

“This is really important because China has massive ambitions to take over the United States as the largest superpower militarily as well as economically,” Bartiromo said on Fox & Friends.

“China has been a bully when it comes to the South China Sea,” Bartiromo noted, “and everybody’s worried about China.”

She noted a win in the agreement for the U.S. also includes a hold on the auto tariffs currently placed on Japan.