Japan raises tariffs on frozen beef

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Japan said that rising imports of frozen beef in the first quarter of the Japanese fiscal year (April-June) have triggered a safeguard, resulting in an automatic increase to Japan’s tariff rate under the WTO on imports of frozen beef from the United States.The increase, from 38.5% to 50%, will begin Aug. 1, 2017 and last through March 31, 2018. The tariff would affect only exporters from countries, including the United States, which do not have free trade agreements with Japan currently in force.“I am concerned that an increase in Japan’s tariff on frozen beef imports will impede U.S. beef sales and is likely to increase the United States’ overall trade deficit with Japan,” said Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. “I have asked representatives of the Japanese government directly and clearly to make every effort to address these strong concerns, and the harm that could result to both American producers and Japanese consumers.”Japan was the top export market for U.S. beef, valued at $1.5 billion in 2016. According to data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation, 2017 first quarter U.S. beef sales to Japan increased 42% over 2016. In addition to the United States, the 50% safeguard tariff also applies to imports from Canada and New Zealand.“We’re very disappointed to learn that the tariff on frozen beef imports to Japan will increase from 38.5% to 50% until April 2018. Japan is the top export market for U.S. beef in both volume and value, and anything that restricts our sales to Japan will have a negative impact on America’s ranching families and our Japanese consumers,” said Craig Uden, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) president. “NCBA opposes artificial barriers like these because they unfairly distort the market and punish both producers and consumers. Nobody wins in this situation. Our producers lose access, and beef becomes a lot more expensive for Japanese consumers. We hope the Trump Administration and Congress realize that this unfortunate development underscores the urgent need for a bilateral trade agreement with Japan absent the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”last_img

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