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Japan, U.S. to reach deal on wheat no-tariff quota, beef import safeguard

Yomiuri reported on Sunday that it has learned that Japan and the U.S. will agree to set a 140,000-ton tariff-free import quota for wheat under the trade deal to be signed shortly, which is 10,000 tons lower than what they had previously agreed upon in the TPP negotiations. The two governments are reportedly also coordinating to set the threshold for Japan to invoke an import safeguard for beef at 290,000 tons per year. The two countries have already agreed to reduce the tariff on U.S. beef imports to the TPP level after the bilateral trade deal takes effect and ultimately lower this to 9%. The threshold will be set at 242,000 tons in the first year to be increased in stages to 293,000 tons.

 

Meanwhile, Sunday’s Sankei reported that it learned on Saturday that Japan and the U.S. have agreed to set tariffs on imports of beef, pork, wine, and other major agricultural products from the U.S. on par with TPP levels in the second year of the bilateral trade deal in order for the U.S. to be competitive with the TPP nations. In exchange for this, Japan reportedly obtained a commitment from the U.S. to scrap its cap on Japanese beef imports and lower the tariff on Japanese rice.

 

Asahi front-paged a report on Monday saying that while Japan and the U.S. have agreed to lower tariffs on imports of beef, pork, and other agricultural products from the U.S. to TPP levels, the U.S. has yet to agree to Japan’s demand to reduce tariffs on Japanese cars and auto parts in line with what the two countries had agreed upon in the TPP negotiations. Asahi said it has learned that coordination is now underway for them to simply agree to continue discussing this issue.

 

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