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U.S.-Japan trade deal goes one step further

Progressive Cattle Editor Carrie Veselka Published on 27 September 2019

President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed a limited trade deal Sept. 25 that includes reduced tariffs on U.S. meats.

According to Trump, the deal will open up Japanese markets to $7 billion worth of American products annually. 

According to the U.S. trade representative’s office, about 90% of U.S. food and agricultural products will receive duty-free or reduced-tariff access to Japan, but wheat will still be subject to a quota limiting the volume of U.S. imports.

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told Reuters that the tariff cuts on U.S. farm products are "within the range" of tariff cuts granted to countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which the U.S. opted out of in 2017.

Currently, U.S. beef faces a 38.5% tariff in Japan, while our competitors from Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand face a 26.6% tariff.

“With Japan being the largest value destination for U.S. pork and beef exports [combined export value in 2018 was $3.7 billion], there is no market more critical to the profitability and prosperity of the U.S. red meat industry. It is therefore imperative that we achieve a level playing field for U.S. pork and beef in Japan so that the U.S. industry can further expand its customer base in this increasingly competitive market,” U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom said in a press release. “Today's announcement is not only excellent news for U.S. farmers and ranchers, but also for Japanese consumers who will have greater access to U.S. pork and beef products.”

“For the past few years, U.S. beef producers have benefitted greatly from growing demand for U.S. beef in Japan,” National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Jennifer Houston said in a statement. “While Japanese consumers enjoy high-quality U.S. beef, they unfortunately pay a higher price for U.S. beef due to the massive 38.5% tariff. Removing that tariff allows more Japanese consumers to enjoy more U.S. beef at a more competitive price. Today’s announcement is welcome news for American families who produce U.S. beef and Japanese families who purchase it.”  end mark

Carrie Veselka
  • Carrie Veselka

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