U.S. and Japan Enter Free Trade Agreement

Free Trade Deal to Commence on January 1, 2020

After working on a trade deal for over a year, USTR’s Robert Lighthizer and Ambassador of Japan to the United States Shinsuke J. Sugiyama signed the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement. The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement will eliminate or reduce tariffs on certain agricultural and industrial products to enhance bilateral trade to mutually benefit each country.  The two countries plan to continue negotiations to further expand the agreement.

The agreement entered into force on January 1, 2020 and was published in the Federal Register Notice (84 FR 72187) on December 30, 2019.

U.S. Japan Free Trade

For U.S. exports, Japan has agreed to import significant proportions of U.S. food and agricultural products.  These items will be either duty free or receive preferential tariff access, and the reduction of other import restrictions. For more information on how treatment of U.S. exports to Japan will change, please contact the U.S. Department of Commerce at www.export.gov

For U.S. imports from Japan, the United States will provide tariff elimination or reduction on 241 tariff lines.

The affected agricultural products from Japan include:
  • perennial plants
  • cut flowers
  • persimmons
  • green tea
  • chewing gum
  • soy sauce
The affected industrial goods from Japan include:
  • certain machine tools
  • fasteners
  • steam turbines
  • bicycles
  • bicycle parts
  • musical instruments


View U.S.-Japan Trade Deal Text

How to Benefit from Preferential Treatment

In order to receive preferential treatment, a good must be originating and meet all the requirements of the U.S.-Japan Agreement. From January 1, 2020 through January 13, 2020, importers must pay duties on qualifying goods under the Agreement and request a preferential tariff retroactive claim by filing a post summary correction (PSC) to request the duty refund.  The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) will accept the new special program indicator ‘JP’ as a prefix to the eligible tariff number on January 14, 2020.

View Filing Instructions



What to do

Scarbrough Consulting, Inc. is offering a free 30-minute consultation to any company that may be affected by the U.S.-Japan announcements.  Please send an email to consulting@scarbrough-intl.com or fill out the form below.  Our Global Trade Experts and Licensed Customs brokers are here to help

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