Japan Parliament Approves US-Japan Trade Agreement; Positive News for US

US - On 4 December, the Upper House of the Japanese Parliament approved the US-Japan trade agreement, which will greatly improve access for US red meat in Japan.
calendar icon 5 December 2019
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Key provisions of the agreement, which was approved by Japan’s Lower House on 19 November, were released in October by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR).

USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom issued a statement saying: "With the US-Japan trade agreement now approved by the Japanese Parliament, the US beef and pork industries look forward to expanded opportunities in Japan, which is already the largest value destination for US pork and beef exports (combined export value in 2018 was $3.7 billion).

"This agreement is one of the biggest developments in the history of red meat trade, as no international market delivers greater benefits to US farmers and ranchers, and to the entire US supply chain, than Japan.

"USMEF thanks President Trump, USTR and USDA for prioritising and securing this agreement, which is a major breakthrough for US agriculture. We also extend our appreciation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his administration for taking unprecedented steps to expand market access for US red meat.

"In addition to the benefits provided to the US industry, Japanese consumers will now enjoy more affordable access to a wider range of US products."

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer also issued a statement on the agreement, saying: "I commend Japan’s quick action to approve these important trade agreements between our two nations, which are the world’s first and third largest economies. We expect the President to sign the implementing proclamation for the United States next week.

"The positive results the United States and Japan will gain from these agreements would not be possible without the strong leadership of President Trump and Prime Minister Abe. Now, US farmers and ranchers will have significantly improved access to Japan’s market, and America’s leadership in the growing digital economy will continue to flourish to the benefit of all our workers."

USMEF’s projected impact on US beef and pork exports to Japan

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

USMEF projects that by 2025, US red meat exports to Japan will approach $5 billion – roughly $2.8 billion for US beef and more than $2 billion for US pork – as consumption of US red meat increases due to greater access for Japanese consumers and the US gaining market share.

The agreement also opens new opportunities for value-added and processed red meat products, with tariffs on these products phasing to zero, which contributes to the overall growth in US exports to the high-value Japanese market.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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