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Exclusive: Japan plans emergency U.S. beef tariff hike

  • March 16, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 2:33 a.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, March 15 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government plans to carry out an emergency tariff hike for U.S. beef Thursday as a safeguard measure to curb imports, Jiji Press learned Monday.

This is because imports of U.S. beef since the start of fiscal 2020 topped the state-set threshold of 242,000 tons earlier this month, informed sources said.

Under the safeguard measure, the tariff rate for U.S. beef will stand at 38.5 pct for 30 days until April 16, up from the regular rate of 25.8 pct.

The last time the government invoked a safeguard tariff hike for U.S. beef was August 2017 before the current system was introduced.

The upcoming measure is highly likely to draw a backlash from U.S. farmers.

The government is scheduled to announce on Wednesday detailed beef import data and its plan to invoke the safeguard measure.

Under the bilateral trade pact that took effect in January 2020, Japan and the United States will begin negotiations within 10 days of the enforcement of the tariff hike on a possible review to the limit on Japan’s imports of U.S. beef.

Since fiscal 2020 began in April last year, imports of U.S. beef to Japan had totaled 233,112 tons as of the end of last month, reaching 96 pct of the state-set limit for the year.

The imports increased 1.7 pct from a year before following beef tariff cuts by Japan under the bilateral pact and a decrease in beef shipments from Australia due to drought.

Meanwhile, Japan’s total beef imports from around the world have been below the year-before level so far in fiscal 2020.

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