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Reaction Positive to Announcement on Japan Dropping Restrictions on U.S. Beef Exports

Reaction to Friday’s announcement that the United States and Japan have agreed on new terms and conditions that eliminate Japan’s longstanding restrictions on U.S. beef exports was excitement and great news.  The new terms, which take effect immediately, allow U.S. products from all cattle, regardless of age, to enter Japan for the first time since 2003.

 

Jennifer Houston, President, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association:

“This is great news for American cattle producers, and Secretary Sonny Perdue and the Trump Administration deserve a lot of credit for helping knock down this non-tariff trade barrier in Japan. This underscores the safety of the U.S. beef herd, and it will hopefully send a signal to other Asian nations that non-science-based trade barriers like this one should be eliminated in their countries, as well.

“Tariff rates grab all the headlines, but non-tariff barriers are often just as important, if not more so, when it comes to determining market access. Hopefully this will help spotlight this important point and lead to more trade victories in the near future.”

 

Dan Halstrom, President and CEO, U.S. Meat Export Federation:

USMEF appreciates the efforts of USDA and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to secure removal of the 30-month cattle age limit for beef exports to Japan, which is a major step toward putting BSE in the rear view mirror when it comes to global beef trade. While most of the U.S. beef shipped to Japan will continue to be from fed cattle under 30 months of age, the opportunities for over-30-month beef cuts and beef variety meat are significant. Japanese buyers from the pre-BSE era are very familiar with these opportunities, and USMEF has been educating many others who entered the industry over the past 15 to 20 years.

USMEF estimates that removal of the cattle age restriction will increase exports to Japan 7 to 10 percent, or by $150 million to $200 million per year. Beef muscle cuts from over-30-month cattle that are most likely to achieve success with Japanese buyers include short plate, chuckeye rolls, short ribs, middle meats, clods and briskets. Beef variety meat items most likely to be in demand include outside skirts, hanging tenders, mountain chain tripe, tongues, abomasum and intestines. The ability to use beef from over-30-month cattle will also lower costs for companies exporting processed beef products to Japan. But for the U.S. industry to fully capitalize on this growth opportunity, U.S. beef needs to be on a level playing field in Japan. So USMEF is also anxious to see progress in the U.S.-Japan trade negotiations.

 

Kansas U.S. Senator Jerry Moran:

“I commend Secretary Perdue and the administration for negotiating full access for U.S. beef to Japan, one of the top export markets for Kansas cattle producers. The United States produces the safest, most wholesome beef in the world, and the elimination of this non-tariff barrier is a win for trade rules being based on sound science.

“While our producers will continue to face higher tariffs when exporting beef to Japan compared to foreign competitors, I am hopeful this announcement lays the groundwork for a bilateral agreement with Japan on agricultural trade that levels the playing field on tariffs for U.S. beef, wheat and other commodities.”

 

Source: NCBA, USMEF and Senator Jerry Moran

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