WYOMING \u2013 US Senators Mike Enzi, John Barrasso and Congresswoman Liz Cheney, all R-Wyo.,\u00a0urged US Trade Representative\u00a0Robert Lighthizer\u00a0to prioritize eliminating the Japanese tariff on US natural soda ash during the US-Japan trade agreement negotiations. While the United States currently supplies nearly 50 percent of the Japanese soda ash market, from 2014 to 2017, US exports of natural soda ash to Japan decreased by 2 percent while Chinese exports of synthetic soda ash to Japan increased by 73 percent. In their letter, legislators emphasized how eliminating the Japanese tariff of 3.3 percent on soda ash could help increase US production and support the\u00a0more than 20,000 well-paying direct and indirect jobs in America. \u201cSynthetic soda ash is lower quality and less environmentally friendly than US natural soda ash, yet China has been steadily increasing its exports of synthetic soda ash to Japan,\u201d the letter said. \u201cEliminating the 3.3 percent duty would help US soda ash exports to compete more fairly in Japan and prevent further market share erosion. In addition, greater soda ash exports would contribute towards reducing the United States\u2019 nearly $70 billion trade deficit with Japan.\u201d Soda ash is a basic raw material required to manufacture other basic commodities such as glass and detergents, accounting for roughly 60 percent of the raw material cost for glass production and 15 to 30 percent of the raw material cost for detergent manufacturing. Soda ash deposits\u00a0in the Green River basin in Wyoming could supply the world\u2019s requirements for soda ash for hundreds of years.