Adjustment to Japan’s safeguard helps level the playing field for US beef

The US Meat Export Federation says the adjustment of Japan’s safeguard on US beef is good news for the US beef industry. 

President and CEO Dan Halstrom.  “The fact that we can get some sort of a resolution that gets us on a level playing field is absolutely fantastic news,” he says.  “If we’re on a level playing field we’ll be able to win with our high-quality product.”

The US-Japan Trade Agreement set up a significant reduction in Japan’s tariffs on US beef, but trade has not been on a level playing field because of the safeguard. The changes announced by the US Trade Representative’s office and the USDA reduce the potential impact of the safeguard and make it less disruptive for US exporters. 

Halstrom says those safeguard tariffs were costly.  “When it triggered a year ago, you’re looking at around a 10 to 11 percent additional duty range,” he says.  “If you have a $100,000 container going to Japan, your cost just went up $10,000.  It’s significant.”

US beef exports to Japan set a new value record in 2021, but from mid-March to mid-April US beef was subject to a higher tariff than its competitors after imports exceeded the safeguard volume. 

Halstrom says the timeline for implementation is unclear, but the US is not a risk for triggering the safeguard tariffs this year.

AUDIO: Dan Halstrom, US Meat Export Federation

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