U.S. and Japan Begin Trade Talks; Deal with China Inches Closer

Source : Texas Cattle Feeders Association


On Monday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer hosted Japanese Economic Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in Washington, D.C., for the first round of trade talks.

Japan is the top export market for U.S. beef. NCBA and TCFA strongly support a U.S.-Japan bilateral trade agreement as U.S. beef exports face a 12% tariff rate disadvantage since we are not part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This disadvantage will only grow unless a bilateral trade agreement is reached.

Japan currently charges a 38.5% tariff on U.S. beef, while key U.S. competitors face a 26.6% tariff. TCFA and NCBA are concerned that any recent gains in U.S. beef sales to Japan could be lost if the Australian beef herd recovers from drought. In the meantime, the U.S. could lose market share to competitors from Canada, Mexico and New Zealand.

Furthermore, if a trade deal is not secured, U.S. beef annual export losses could reach $550 million by 2023 and over $1.2 billion by 2028.TCFA and NCBA will continue to work alongside the Trump administration as they take all necessary steps to secure a trade agreement with Japan as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that senior U.S. and Chinese officials are scheduling more trade talks in an effort to reach a deal by early May that President Trump and Xi Jinping could sign later that month. According to reports, China is also considering a U.S. request to shift some of its retaliatory tariffs from key agricultural products to other American exports.

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