Japan temporarily sets higher tariffs on US beef imports

Japan is temporarily raising tariffs on US beef imports as volumes have exceeded levels agreed to between the two nations for the fiscal year ending on 31 March.
calendar icon 17 March 2021
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Reuters reports that Japan's agriculture ministry announced the tariff hike on Wednesday 17 March.

From Thursday, the tariff will rise to 38.5% from 25.8% for 30 days through 16 April, marking the first time the safeguard measure has been imposed on US beef imports since August 2017.

Japan imported a total of 242,229 tonnes of US beef by early March, exceeding the maximum 242,000 tonnes set under the Japan-US trade agreement for the current fiscal year, the ministry said.

Slower imports from Australia due to drought there have boosted demand for US beef, according to an official at the ministry.

Lower tariffs on US beef after the Japan-US trade deal took effect last year also made US beef more competitive, an industry source said.

But the tariff hike is expected to have a limited impact on the local beef market as the tariff will drop to 25% from 17 April, the rate set for the new fiscal year starting in April, and beef importers could delay the customs process until then, the ministry official said.

Kyodo News reported on Tuesday that Japan was set to temporarily impose higher tariffs on US beef.

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Source: Reuters

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