US cattlemen call for action on TPP

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

Australia is competing with the US for rule of Japan's beef market
Australia is competing with the US for rule of Japan's beef market

Related tags: Cowboy, Us, Beef

The National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA) has written to the US Senate calling for quick progress to be made over the ratification of the ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. 

In a letter written by the NCBA’s president Tracy Brunner, the cattle rancher said the beef industry cannot afford to wait much longer for TPP​ completion as high trade tariffs hurt its competitiveness.

The value exports add to US beef is undeniable,​” said Brunner in the letter. “Asia and the Pacific Rim are extremely valuable markets for US beef. We not only export steaks and ground beef, but this region demands high-quality variety meats like beef tongue. Those products bring a premium in these markets and add value back to producers here at home. Trade is an investment in our future, profitability for the next generation.​”

Competition Down Under

Last year, trade added an estimated $325 in value for every head of cattle, according to data produced by the NCBA. Japan is the largest importer of US beef in the world, with sales generating $1.3bm for the US cattle industry. But this strong buyer for American beef comes with a hefty fee – a trade tariff of 38.5%.

This puts the US at a significant disadvantage to another big producers of beef; Australia is one such competitor.

With the implementation of the Australia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, Australian beef exports to Japan enjoy a 10% tariff advantage over US beef.

Rebuild market share

“Due to the preferential agreement between Australia and Japan, US producers have lost over $100m in sales to Japan this past year,” said Brunner.

“The only way to level the playing field, stop the erosion of our market and rebuild market share is passage of TPP. Once TPP is passed, the tariff rate on our beef into Japan will immediately reduce to 27.5% and continue to reduce to 9% over 16 years.”

Related topics: Meat

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