US-Japan sign beef export agreement

The US and Japan have signed the agreement to revise the beef safeguard under the US-Japan Trade Agreement.

Kent Bacus with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says this provides greater certainty for US beef in one of its best export markets. “If you look at Japan overall, just the first quarter this year we’re close to 600 million in sales,” he said. “Sales are up over 20 percent. They are our second largest export market, and the last thing we want to do is to jeopardize that.”

He tells Brownfield this agreement underscores the importance of good trading relationships. “When you have good terms of trade, they are not going to guarantee your success, but they are going to position you to be able to capitalize on consumer demand,” Bacus said. “That’s one of the biggest barriers we face is that it’s not that consumers don’t want our product, it’s just that we don’t have access to them.”

The agreement now includes a three-trigger mechanism before that must be met for Japan to implement the safeguard and impose a temporary, higher tariff on US beef. 

Those are:

  1. Imports from the United States must exceed the original beef safeguard trigger level under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement;
  2. The aggregate volume of beef imports from the United States and the original signatories of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) must exceed the CPTPP beef safeguard; and
  3. Imports from the United States must exceed the total amount of beef imports from the United States during the previous year. This third trigger will be in effect until 2027.

The volume-based safeguard was triggered in March 2021 and both countries entered consultations to secure improvements that benefited both Japanese consumers and American cattle producers.

Exports of U.S. beef to Japan totaled almost $2.4 billion in 2021, with Japan representing the United States’ second largest beef export market.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Stay Up to Date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!