US-Japan trade deal a big win for beef and pork industries

The president and CEO of the US Meat Export Federation says the news that the US and Japan have reached a trade agreement in principle is huge news for the US beef and pork industries.

Dan Halstrom says getting an agreement with Japan has been a priority. “It’s our largest value market on beef and pork,” he says.  “There were $3.7 billion in sales between the two last year.  The puts us on an even playing field with our competitors.  Which is great.  We can win on an level playing field.”

He says even with the duty disadvantage growth in the Japanese market has been on the rise.  “We’re at a 12 percent duty disadvantage on beef – but they the market is still expanding, albeit at a slower rate than we will be once the duties get to an equal level with our competitors,” he says.  “You look at the major segments of our business in Japan – all of those segments are growing.”

US pork and beef have been at a significant tariff disadvantage compared to products imported from countries participating in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement.  

Halstrom is leading a delegation of pork, beef, corn, and soybean producers and other US ag industry leaders on a trade mission to Japan in early September.  He says they’ll be meeting with key customers of US agricultural goods.  

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