Current Progressive Cattle digital edition

Ag groups comment on Shinzo Abe assassination

Published on 18 July 2022

Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe died after being shot at a political campaign event in the city of Nara on July 8.

Abe, Japan’s longest-serving leader, was a key player in negotiating trade agreements, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP-TPP), formerly the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with the U.S., along with other agreements regarding U.S. beef exports, of which Japan is currently the second-largest consumer. 

Several U.S. ag groups released statements following Abe’s death:

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom:

“USMEF is deeply saddened by the death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In addition to being a strong and reliable ally of the United States, he was a true champion for trade. His leadership in advancing the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, which was a major win for U.S. agriculture, was courageous and relentless. He was also a driving force behind the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other key trade agreements.”

U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Ryan LeGrand:

“Our hearts go out to Japan at this critical time, and we are sorry for such a great loss. Prime Minister Abe was a leader in many ways, including growing trade between the U.S. and Japan. He continued the long, close friendship between the U.S. and Japan that goes back even farther than the opening of the then U.S. Feed Grains Council’s first international office in Tokyo in 1961. We are saddened today for our friends, partners and the people of Japan.”

National Cattlemen's Beef Association, senior director of international trade and market access, Kent Bacus, commenting on the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network:

“He was really a good leader, someone who not only cared deeply about the people Japan but really tried to bring Japan into a bigger leadership role in to help kind of steer the global economy in a positive direction.” …

“It was my pleasure to work with his staff, trying to expand trade between the U.S. and Japan. Japan is a big market for us, but it’s always been a very tough market for us. Prior to Prime Minister Abe coming into power, it was a very protectionist market. He was really the one that spearheaded trade liberalization and really pivoting Japan from being that protectionist society and growing their economy through trade.”  end mark

Compiled from various news releases