US, Japan sign new beef safeguard mechanism

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Japanese Ambassador to the United States Koji Tomita on Friday signed an agreement to revise the beef safeguard mechanism under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement (USJTA).

“This updated agreement will amend the beef safeguard trigger level under the USJTA with a new, three-trigger safeguard mechanism,” the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said in a news release.

“The amendment will allow U.S. beef exporters to more reliably meet Japan’s growing demand for high-quality beef, providing more predictability and reducing the probability that safeguard duties would be imposed on U.S. beef, as occurred in early 2021.”

“This agreement ensures that American farmers and ranchers can continue to meet Japan’s growing demand for high-quality U.S. beef while increasing market opportunities in a vital market,” said Tai.

“I want to thank Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Ambassador Rahm Emanuel for helping to get this agreement done. Together, the United States and Japan are demonstrating our commitment to working together on shared priorities to achieve concrete, economically meaningful results for our people.”

Exports of U.S. beef to Japan totaled almost $2.4 billion in 2021, with Japan representing the United States’ second largest beef export market, USTR noted.

Kent Bacus, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association senior director of international trade and market access, said in a news release, “The agreement signed today underscores the importance of the mutually beneficial relationship between U.S. cattle producers and Japanese consumers, and we are hopeful that the improved safeguard will provide greater certainty for all segments of the supply chain”

“NCBA thanks Ambassador Tai for her continued efforts to reduce trade barriers and expand export opportunities for American cattle producers.”

–The Hagstrom Report

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