NCBA this week urged the Trump administration to move quickly to tear down trade barriers for U.S. beef in Japan during a public hearing on the potential economic impact of a U.S.-Japan bilateral trade agreement. Japan is the top export market for U.S. beef, accounting for nearly $2 billion in sales in 2017. However, according to NCBA, U.S. beef exports face tariffs as high as 50% under some circumstances.
Several key U.S. competitors have negotiated agreements that provide their producers with preferential access to the Japanese market, which puts the U.S. beef industry at a significant disadvantage. For example, under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Australian beef exporters will enjoy a tariff reduction of 27.5% in the first year of the agreement for fresh and frozen products. In most cases, the countries who are part of CPTPP will see their tariff rates for beef exports decline to 9% over the next 15 years. In addition to CPTPP, Japan is moving ahead with a trade agreement that will give European Union beef producers similar terms to those negotiated in CPTPP.
“NCBA strongly supports prioritizing and expediting negotiations for a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement,” said NCBA President Kevin Kester “The U.S. beef industry is at risk of losing significant market share in Japan unless immediate action is taken to level the playing field.”