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USMEF Statement on U.S.-Japan Trade Announcement

Published: Sep 27, 2019

On Sept. 25 President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced completion of an agreement that will greatly improve access for U.S. red meat in Japan. Key provisions are outlined in this fact sheet from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom issued this statement:

With Japan being the largest value destination for U.S. pork and beef exports (combined export value in 2018 was $3.7 billion), there is no market more critical to the profitability and prosperity of the U.S. red meat industry. It is therefore imperative that we achieve a level playing field for U.S. pork and beef in Japan, so that the U.S. industry can further expand its customer base in this increasingly competitive market. Today's announcement is not only excellent news for U.S. farmers and ranchers, but also for Japanese consumers who will have greater access to U.S. pork and beef products.

USMEF thanks the Trump administration for prioritizing trade negotiations with Japan and for securing this agreement, which is a major step forward for the U.S. pork and beef industries and for all of U.S. agriculture.

While the full text of the agreement has not yet been published, USMEF made these projections based on available details:

Tariff relief that parallels the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership will allow U.S. beef and pork exports to return to a strong growth trend in Japan. With a level playing field, USMEF's forecast for 2020 is for U.S. 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 red meat exports to Japan will approach $5 billion – roughly $2.8 billion for U.S. beef and more than $2 billion for U.S. pork – as consumption of U.S. red meat increases due to greater access for Japanese consumers and the U.S. gains import market share.

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Joe Schuele