Trans-Pacific Partnership considers removal of tariffs

By Chloe Ryan

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: International trade, Beef

US beef looks set for a boost, with trade barriers among Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries set for removal following meetings with trade ministers in Atlanta this week.

If agreed with the other participating nations – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – the TPP will remove tariffs and other trade barriers across the member countries.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association issued a plea to conclude negotiations quickly and implement the deal as swiftly as possible.

“Cattlemen and women have high expectations for the TPP,”​ said Philip Ellis, NCBA president. “We urge our negotiators to work quickly to bring this agreement to conclusion. Every day that goes by without a comprehensive agreement erodes our market share in these member countries and it is imperative that our negotiators find common ground.”

Australian beef

Japan is currently the top export market for US beef, totaling $1.6bn in 2014, even with a 38.5% tariff rate. One of the leading competitors for Japanese consumers is Australia. Last year Australia and Japan signed the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement that phases down the tariff on beef imports over 15 years and removes a 50% snap-back tariff on Australian beef. This agreement gives Australia a competitive advantage over the US, the NCBA argues.

“As a result Australia is taking market share away from US beef,”​ Ellis said. The Trans-Pacific Partnership will put US beef producers on a level playing field with Australian beef producers.”

“This is why agriculture cannot afford to delay action any longer,”​ said Ellis. “Other nations are actively pursuing individual trade agreements to benefit their producers. The US is already one of the most open markets in the world and if we do not act to expand new market opportunities in these growing economies, our cattle producers will be severely disadvantaged.”

The US announced its intention to participate in the TPP negotiations back in November 2009. The office of the US Trade Representative said the nation’s trade ministers would meet on 30 September and 1 October. “Trade ministers and negotiators last met in July and have been making good progress towards resolving the limited number of outstanding issues,”​ said a spokesman.

Related topics: Meat

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