Ranchers score big Japan trade deal win

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Release,

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Jennifer Houston issued the following statement in response to Japan’s final approval of a trade deal that will lower tariffs for U.S. beef exports to that nation:

“There’s just no other way to say it: this is a tremendous victory and a great day for America’s beef producers and Japanese consumers. Japan is the number one export market for U.S. beef, and for many years it has been a top priority of NCBA to remove tariff and non-tariff trade barriers that have prevented American beef producers from meeting Japanese consumer demand for safe and high-quality U.S. beef. This agreement levels the playing field and opens the door for U.S. beef producers to meet consumer demand in Japan. NCBA has been a strong supporter of President Trump’s push for a bilateral trade deal with Japan, and we look forward to capitalizing on this opportunity in 2020.

“Over the past few years, NCBA has met countless times with our nation’s top trade negotiators and Japanese trade officials to underscore the importance of market access to Japan to America’s cattle producers. NCBA is honored to have been a part of the process from Day One right on through to the official signing ceremony with President Trump in the White House. Because of the Administration’s commitment to this issue, America’s cattle producers will no longer be at a competitive disadvantage in our largest export market. That means our current market of $2 billion a year — nearly $100 per head sold — is likely to grow in the years to come.”

BACKGROUND: Japan’s upper legislative chamber, the Diet, today approved a bilateral trade deal with the United States that will gradually lower the tariff on U.S. beef from 38.5 percent to 9 percent. This will keep U.S. beef on a level playing field with imports from Australia, Canada, Mexico, and other countries. Japan is the largest export market for U.S. beef, accounting for approximately $2 billion in sales per year.

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