Japan Likely to Trigger Beef Import Safeguard for First Time in 14 Years (News)
Tokyo, July 26 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government is poised to impose a safeguard measure to protect domestic cattle farmers against foreign beef for the first time in 14 years, in response to a surge in imports of frozen products from the United States, informed sources said Wednesday.
The government is considering invoking the safeguard by raising the tariff rate from 38.5% to 50% on Tuesday, the first such step against imported beef since August 2003, the sources said.
The administration of US President Donald Trump, which is seeking to cut the US trade deficit with Japan, is expected to react harshly if Tokyo actually takes the action.
The administration is likely to put strong pressure on Japan to open domestic farm products markets at an "economic dialogue" meeting with the Japanese government to be held in the autumn, the sources said.
The internationally approved safeguard mechanism will be triggered if the amount of beef imports increases more than 17% from a year earlier on a quarterly basis. For April–June this year, the government believes that frozen beef imports, mainly from the United States, met the condition.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]