Amending Japan’s beef safeguard is crucial to US beef exports


Amending Japan’s beef safeguard is crucial to US beef exports

The US Meat Export Federation says there are several reasons the US Trade Representative’s office needs to make progress on Japan’s safeguard threshold for imports of US beef.

President and CEO Dan Halstrom says one of those is keeping US beef competitive on the global market.  “Our primary competition around the world, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, that are CPTPP trading partners, do not have any risk of triggering the safeguard.”

Japan’s imports of US beef exceeded the safeguard threshold in 2021 and triggered a higher tariff rate of 38.5% (up from 25.8% on US beef muscle cuts.

Halstrom says the timing of the tariff rate increase is unfortunate.  “March/April is right before one of the busiest consumption times of the year – the Golden Week holidays,” he says.  “So our concern going forward is if we can’t come to an agreement we run the threat of triggering the safeguard each and every year.”

Last month US Trade Representative Katherine Tai met with Japan’s minister of foreign affairs virtually to discuss adjusting Japan’s beef safeguard to higher levels for US beef.  Both sides have committed to advancing their efforts in this area.