Last week, Japan announced it would raise tariffs on frozen beef imported from the U.S., and the tougher fees went into effect Tuesday.
Since there’s no free trade agreement with Japan, the tariff increased from 38.5 percent to 50 percent. Australia has a trade deal with Japan and pays a 9 percent tariff.
Under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, Japan can introduce safeguard tariffs when the country’s imports rise more than 17 percent year-on-year during any given quarter. They can also implement the safeguard tariffs to countries that don’t have a free trade agreement with them.
This has U.S. producers wondering if they can find another Asian market for their products.
“We have quite a way to go with China, but our exports to South Korea and Hong Kong have been strong this year as well as to Japan,” said John Nalivka, president and owner of Sterling Marketing, Agriculture Research and Consulting.
Currently, China has stipulations of U.S. beef being shipped into the country, including non-hormone. Nalivka said China’s impact probably won’t make a big difference short term.