– Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following news that Japan had raised their tariff to 50 percent on frozen beef from the United States.
“I call on Congress and the Trump Administration to redouble their efforts to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement with Japan to address the beef tariff rates as well as other agricultural market access issues similar to what would have been covered under the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said Governor Ricketts. “As announced, I will be leading a trade mission to Japan in early September. Our beef community can rest assured these tariffs rate increases will be at the forefront of our discussions in Japan.”
The Governor went on to say that the announcement that Japan has decided to raise its tariff on frozen beef from the U.S. will have a serious economic impact on Nebraska’s beef community. Japan is Nebraska’s number one export market for beef products with a value of over $316 million in 2016 alone.
This increase in the tariff rate will place Nebraska beef exports at an even greater competitive disadvantage with other countries that Japan has free trade agreements with like Australia and the newly announced European Union agreement. It is anticipated that this will shift purchases from frozen to fresh triggering beef safeguard tariff increases on fresh beef as well later this year compounding the impact to Nebraska’s beef exports.