Japan's Aso says Tokyo to Discuss Frozen Beef Import Tariffs in Talks with U.S.

Japan's finance minister said on Tuesday Tokyo would raise the issue of tariffs on frozen beef imports from the United States and other countries in bilateral economic talks with Washington later this year.

Minister Taro Aso's comments came as Japan hiked tariffs from Aug. 1 on imports of frozen beef, popular in beef bowl dishes, from countries including the United States to 50 percent from 38.5 percent. The measure follows U.S. president Donald Trump's move to withdraw from the long-planned Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal earlier this year.

The tariff hike, set to be in place until next March, is a "safeguard" mechanism to protect domestic farmers, Japan's finance ministry said last month, prompting concern in Washington.

"I'm aware of the U.S. agriculture secretary's concern," Aso told reporters after a cabinet meeting in Tokyo. "This measure would be abolished if the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) were implemented, but it remains because the U.S. withdrew from TPP."

Under current Japan measures, higher tariffs are automatically imposed if quarterly imports of specific beef products - both from all nations and from those lacking economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with Japan - rise more than 17 percent from a year earlier.

In April-June, Japan's frozen beef imports from all nations, at 89,253 tons, were up 17.1 percent on the year, while imports from non-EPA nations reached 37,823 tons, an increase of nearly a quarter, government data showed.

"It's true there have been debates that the span of time (used in tariff reviews) should be extended from the current three months," Finance Minister Aso said on Tuesday. "There's room for consideration and we are likely to discuss issues of this kind in our economic dialogue."

Tokyo and Washington are expected to hold a second round of bilateral economic talks later this year, in which the Trump administration could press for concessions on trade that could increase U.S. exports to Japan.


Latest News

Grandin, Mitloehner, Serve Up Facts About Animal Ag and Greenhouse Gasses

How can livestock production be a part of the solution? Temple Grandin and Frank Mitloehner discussed strides in sustainability and the future at the Online Top Producer Summit and Trust in Food Symposium.

Program Helps Give Calves A Healthy Edge

Purina Animal Nutrition introduces Purina® Plus, an innovative feeder calf program, which aims to help cattle producers supply high-value, low-risk feeder calves to the marketplace.

Adding Up Pennies

The “Discovering True Carcass Value Webinar” sponsored by Certified Angus Beef will explore cutout values and how CAB carcasses add value beyond Choice.

Rana Creek Ranch
Glenn Selk: Riding Off Into The Sunset

Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension Animal Scientist Glenn Selk announces he is handing over publication of future Cow-Calf Newsletters to other OSU beef specialists.

Gearhart Ranch
NCBA Delivers State of the Industry Address

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association spokesmen gave an update on the state of the industry and priority issues in Washington, D.C. that may affect cattlemen during the group’s virtual Winter Reboot conference.

Pilgrim’s Pride Agrees To Price-Fixing Fine

Pilgrim's Pride, the nation's second-largest poultry processor, entered a guilty plea to federal charges of price-fixing and bid-rigging, the Department of Justice said on Tuesday.