Japan to Set Low Tariffs for Up to 240,000 Tons of U.S. Beef

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 20 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government plans to set the level of U.S. beef imports triggering its safeguard measures at roughly 240,000 tons per year initially under a new Japan-U.S. trade agreement that the two governments hope to sign next week, it was learned Friday.

The tariff rate for U.S. beef imports below the safeguard threshold will be set at about 26 pct once the trade deal goes into effect, and be lowered in stages until it comes down to 9 pct in fiscal 2033, sources familiar with the matter said. The volume of imports triggering safeguard measures will be gradually expanded to 290,000 tons a year.

Imports exceeding the threshold will be subject to tariffs of 38.5 pct, the same as the current level, to protect the domestic livestock industry, according to the sources. Japan's U.S. beef imports in fiscal 2018 stood at about 250,000 tons.

Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, which took effect late last year, Japan sets safeguard measures for beef while introducing lower tariffs for a certain amount of imports from member countries, including Australia. For fiscal 2019, which ends next March, up to 600,000 tons of imports are eligible for the lower tariffs.

The planned trade agreement with the United States will expand overall lower-tariff imports.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press