A new beef safeguard trigger level has been agreed to by the United States and Japan. United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and United States Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel described the development as a win for both countries. The new system will require a total of three conditions to be hit before Japan can invoke a safeguard trigger. Both governments will be working to finalize the text of the agreement incorporating the new trigger levels and will be publishing a final document as soon as its deemed appropriate.
“This is a positive development for America’s farmers and ranchers. It allows for greater market-based growth in U.S. beef exports to Japan and reduces the probability of higher Japanese tariffs being imposed on U.S. goods,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release. “America’s farmers and ranchers have beef products that can compete anywhere in the globe and this announcement will allow them to demonstrate just that.”
Exports of U.S. beef and beef products exceeded $10 billion in 2021, making the U.S. the top beef exporter in the global market. Japan is a substantial market for U.S. beef, as the second largest market for value and the number-one market in volume in 2021. Industry groups such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and North American Meat Institute have been largely supportive of efforts to improve beef safeguard trigger levels with Japan.
“While the details of the agreement in principle have not been disclosed, NCBA is encouraged that today’s announcement means we are taking necessary steps to secure long-term solutions that enable American cattle producers to continue providing Japanese consumers with high-quality U.S. beef at competitive prices,” said Kent Bacus, NCBA Senior Director of International Trade and Market Access. “NCBA greatly appreciates Ambassador Tai’s leadership and the hard work of negotiators who have been working on this effort for the past year.”