Beef trade: Japan offers concessions to the U...
Beef trade

Japan offers concessions to the USA

Steffen Bach
Japan is the most important market for beef from the USA.
Japan is the most important market for beef from the USA.

USA, Washington. Japan is granting the United States relief on beef exports. It will be more difficult to raise protective tariffs.

Japan was the top market for US beef exporters last year, with a shipment volume of about 321,000 t flushing a record $2.38 billion into their coffers. However, US suppliers faced a month of increased import duties and disadvantages vis-à-vis competitors because their exports to Nippon exceeded the applicable safeguard clause.

Three additional criteria

However, this mechanism is not expected to take effect so easily in the future. As the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently announced, a better agreement has been reached on triggering the safeguard clause for beef under the US-Japan trade agreement. Under this agreement, three criteria must be met simultaneously in the future for the safeguard duty to be triggered. There is to be an additional import duty only if beef imports from the US exceed the original safeguard threshold and, at the same time, the total volume of imports from all initial signatories to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) also exceeds the agreed level of safeguard. The higher duty will also only be imposed if, third, US imports exceed the previous year's level.

US hopes for additional export volumes

"This agreement is a great win for our two countries, ensuring that US farmers and ranchers can continue to meet Japan's growing demand for high-quality US beef," Tai said. Visack said the agreement allows for greater growth in U.S. beef exports to Japan and "reduces the likelihood that Japan will impose higher tariffs on these commodities."

According to U.S. Meat Export Organization (USMEF) President Dan Halstrom, the US-Japan trade agreement was already a "tremendous breakthrough for the US meat industry." Despite the tariff reductions agreed to in that agreement, however, the level playing field was not completely level because of the safeguard clause against competitors, he said. However, the changes now announced reduced the potential impact of the safeguard measures and made them less disruptive.

Source: fleischwirtschaft.de; AgE

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