US-Japan trade deal praised by meat industry

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

US-Japan trade deal praised by meat industry

Related tags Poultry Pork Beef

The US meat industry has warmly welcomed a trade agreement between its government and Japan which it believes will “level the playing field” against international competitors.

US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the trade agreement in principle on such a deal at the G7 summit and with a plan to formalise it in September.

Dr. Dermot Hayes, an economist at Iowa State University, estimates exports to Japan will grow from $1.6bn in 2018 to more than $2.2bn over the next 15 years as a result of the US pork industry getting market access in Japan as favorable as its competitors

Upon announcing the trade deal, US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said: “Japan is a significant market for United States agriculture exports, making today a good day for American agriculture. By removing existing barriers for our products, we will be able to sell more to the Japanese markets. At the same time we will able to close gaps to better allow us to compete on a level playing field with our competitors. I thank President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer for their constant support of America’s farmers and ranchers and their hard work negotiating better trade deals around the globe.”

The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) welcomed the trade agreement in principle with Japan. “The Meat Institute applauds the Trump Administration for negotiating better access to a critical and growing market for American beef and pork,”​ said CEO Julie Anna Potts. “The US will be better able to compete with the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership nations and the European Union for valuable market share.”

The poultry sector also praised the deal. “Frozen chicken, turkey, and processed egg products will receive favorable tariff reductions enabling our products to compete more effectively with those of countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership,”​ the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), National Chicken Council (NCC), National Turkey Federation (NTF) and United Egg Producers (UEP) said in a joint statement.

“While this is just the first stage of a bilateral agreement, it is welcome news and we would like to thank President Trump, Secretary Perdue and Secretary Lighthizer for their work negotiating trade deals that stand to benefit US poultry and egg products.”

The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) president and CEO Dan Halstrom added: “This announcement is tremendous news for US farmers and ranchers, and for everyone in the red meat supply chain, because it will level the playing field for US pork and beef in the world's most competitive red meat import market. It is also a very positive development for our customer base in Japan, which USMEF and our industry partners have spent decades building. These customers have been very loyal to US pork and beef, but our exports to Japan could not reach their full potential under Japan's current tariff structure.”

On the pork side, the National Pork Producers Council president David Herring said: “We thank the Trump administration for negotiating a trade agreement with Japan, a market that represented 25% of total U.S. pork exports last year. We look forward to rapid implementation of the agreement as international competitors are currently taking US pork market share through more favorable access.

“The United States produces the safest, highest-quality and most affordable pork in the world,” ​added Herring. “It is the preference of many Japanese customers and we look forward to competing on a level playing field again.” 

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