USMEF Applauds Approval of U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement

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The Upper House of the Japanese Parliament has approved the U.S.-Japan trade agreement, which will improve access for U.S. red meat in Japan, according to a statement from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Key provisions of the agreement were released in October, ahead of Japan’s Lower House approval of the deal on November 19. 

“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.”  

“USMEF thanks President Trump, USTR and USDA for prioritizing and securing this agreement, which is a major breakthrough for U.S. agriculture. We also extend our appreciation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his administration for taking unprecedented steps to expand market access for U.S. red meat,” Halstrom continues. “In addition to the benefits provided to the U.S. industry, Japanese consumers will now enjoy more affordable access to a wider range of U.S. products.”

USMEF’s forecast for 2020 is for U.S. pork and beef exports to Japan to reach $1.7 and $2.3 billion respectively, with tariff rates mirroring those imposed on major competitors. Export volumes are projected to be roughly 410,000 metric tons for pork, and 360,000 metric tons of beef, the release says. These projections are based on reduced tariff rates being in place for the full year.

By 2025, the federation projects that U.S. red meat exports to japan will approach $5 billion, roughly $2.8 billion for U.S. beef and more than $2 billion for U.S. pork as consumption of U.S. red meat increases due to greater access for Japanese consumers. There are also new opportunities through the agreement for value-added and processed red meat products, with tariffs on these products phasing to zero, which contributes to the overall growth in U.S. exports to the high-value Japanese market.

For more, listen to Halstom's take in this audio clip.