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Agri-Pulse reports:

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is assuring farmers that a pending trade deal with Japan will put them on a level playing field with other countries that already have agreements with the Japanese.

The Japan deal, which has not been finalized, "gets us back on parity with our competitors," Perdue told reporters Tuesday. "I think it will essentially be even ... There were some sectors that were left out, but it will get us back on our comparable tariff area with other countries."

Keep in mind: U.S. dairy, grain and meat producers are adamant that they need to be at the same tariff level as the European Union and Trans-Pacific Partnership countries that have already gotten tariff cuts from Japan in trade deals that have been in place for months.

But Perdue confirmed U.S. rice farmers' fears that they will not benefit from the trade deal, despite the fact that they would have gotten increased Japanese access under the TPP if the U.S. hadn't pulled out.

Without giving any details, Perdue said he expects U.S. beef and pork to get even better access to Japan than under TPP.

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