Japan’s Upper House Approves U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement

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Japan’s Upper Court has approved the U.S.-Japan trade agreement, finalizing the deal that U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minster Shinzō Abe signed in October.  

The deal will take effect at the beginning of next year and significantly lower or eliminate tariffs on beef, pork, wheat, corn and more. For cattlemen in particular, the tariff will gradually lower from 38.5% to 9% percent. 

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association senior director of international trade and market access Kent Bacus called it a “great day for the beef industry” stating that as of January 1 U.S. beef will be on a level playing field in its number one export market.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) also applauded the deal, while predicting that U.S. red meat exports to Japan will be worth almost $5 billion by 2025, with roughly $2.8 billion of that being U.S. beef, and $2 billion being U.S. pork.

“With the U.S.-Japan trade agreement now approved by the Japanese Parliament, the U.S. beef and pork industries look forward to expanded opportunities in Japan, which is already the largest value destination for U.S. pork and beef exports (combined export value in 2018 was $3.7 billion),” says USMEF president and CEO Dan Halstrom. “This agreement is one of the biggest developments in the history of red meat trade, as no international market delivers greater benefits to U.S. farmers and ranchers, and to the entire U.S. supply chain, than Japan.”

John Nalivka, president and owner of Sterling Marketing was optimistic that Japanese share of total U.S. beef and pork exports would rise in 2020 after Japan lowers tariffs or imports more under a tariff-free quota.

To date, 2019 U.S. beef exports to Japan account for 27% of total U.S. beef exports, compared to 28% in 2018. Exports to Japan account for 19% of total U.S. pork exports in 2019, compared to 21% in 2018, Nalivka says.


For more, check out this clip from AgDay’s Clinton Griffiths.