U.S., Japan Reach Agreement on American Beef Import Targets

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. and Japan reached an agreement that will help keep more American beef flowing into Japan. The two countries agreed to increase the beef safeguard trigger level under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. The Hagstrom Report says it’s now less likely that U.S. exports will reach the levels that trigger the safeguard provision allowing Japan to raise its tariffs.

“This is a win-win for American ranchers and Japanese consumers,” says U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel. “It ensures stability for U.S. exports in the years ahead and that American beef can compete and win anywhere, anytime.” The agreement includes a new three-trigger mechanism, and all three must get hit for Japan put the safeguard in place and raise the beef tariff. It’s unknown when the agreement goes into effect because the text must get published, and Japan’s parliament must approve the agreement.

U.S. cattle groups applauded the announcement of an agreement between the U.S. and Japan on American beef imports. Both countries entered consultations after the beef tariff safeguard got triggered in March 2021. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association strongly supports efforts to improve the beef tariff safeguard that benefits both Japanese consumers and American cattle producers.

“NCBA is encouraged by the announcement,” says Kent Bacus, NCBA Senior Director of International Trade and Market Access. “We continue taking necessary steps to secure long-term solutions that enable American cattle producers to continue providing Japanese consumers high-quality beef at competitive prices.”  If the Japanese parliament approves the agreement, it will add additional triggers before a tariff can get raised on beef.

“Reducing tariffs and trade disruptions will further strengthen demand for U.S. beef and generate long-term benefit for cattle producers despite recent challenges,” says Hughes Abell, President of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

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