Tokyo, June 3 (Jiji Press)–Japan and the United States have formally agreed to revise the criteria for Tokyo to trigger a safeguard measure to curb U.S. beef imports, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Friday.
The two governments have signed a revised protocol amending the safeguard measure under the bilateral trade pact.
The Japanese government hopes to gain parliamentary approval for the revision at an extraordinary session of the Diet, the country’s parliament, envisioned for autumn.
Under the revised protocol, even if imports of U.S. beef exceed the low-tariff quota, an emergency tariff hike will not be invoked if the combined import volume of beef from the United States and member states of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact is below such a quota for beef from TPP members.
The new rule is expected to become effective from the ongoing fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the two sides have decided to forgo a significant increase in the low-tariff quota for U.S. beef, which was initially sought by Washington.
Safeguard measures are designed to protect domestic producers by temporarily raising tariffs on agricultural, forestry and fisheries goods when there is a surge in imports.
The Japanese and U.S. governments began talks on reviewing the safeguard standards for U.S. beef in March last year, after the measure was invoked the same month. They reached a substantial agreement this March.