A member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association board of directors from Missouri says the Japan/Australia trade deal seeks to undermine U.S. trade in the Trans Pacific Partnership which is under negotiation.
Chuck Massengill of Missouri says the U.S. is looking for ZERO tariffs for beef trade with Japan, “We’re looking for zero. We’re not looking for kind of close to zero or something less painful than we have now.”
The deal with Japan will reduce the current 38-and-a-half percent tariff on Australian beef to 19-and-a-half percent in 18 years. Chilled beef from Australia going into Japan will be levied at 23.5 percent.
The agreement with Australia set a precedent for Japan to negotiate with the U.S. on sensitive items like beef, according to Kent Bacus, with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
“I hope that our negotiators are a little more successful, because deal that was struck with Australia is not even close to anything that would be acceptable to us,” said Bacus on Friday, during an interview with Brownfield Ag News.
But, Massengill tells Brownfield, Australian beef does not come close to what U.S. beef offers to consumers, “Australian grass-fed, or short fed beef, does not anywhere compare to the U.S. grain fed beef (which is) just a standard of quality all over the world. So, we certainly we don’t want to be brought in and held to the same standards as what the Australians trade for.”
Massengill and his wife raise cattle in central Missouri’s Moniteau County. He is the immediate past president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association.