Japan is already one of Colorado’s top international beef buyers. A trade deal will likely strengthen the connection.


Brammhi Balarajan, The Colorodo Sun (CO)

Jun 15, 2022


A new trade deal will make it easier for Colorado ranchers to develop new markets in Japan without risking increased tariffs on beef.


Japan is Colorado’s fourth largest trading partner for beef and the deal signed earlier this month by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai raises the threshold in sales that triggers an increase in tariffs.


The move comes as U.S. beef exports reached new records during the pandemic. In 2021, the U.S. was the top beef exporting country in the world, shipping about $10.58 billion in meat to other countries, about 25% of which went to Japan, U.S. Meat Federation data shows.


Colorado alone exported $171 million worth of beef to Japan in 2021, up about 23% from 2020.


The revision of the trade agreement comes on the heels of beef producers’ worries that the U.S. would be at a trade disadvantage, since competitor countries enjoyed lower tariffs through the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).


Under the revised agreement, three conditions must be met before Japan can raise tariffs: imports from the U.S. must exceed the original trigger level; the aggregate volume of beef imports from the U.S. and members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership must exceed the CPTPP beef safeguard; and imports from the U.S. must exceed those of the previous year.


The safeguard will put the U.S. in a better position to compete with Australia, its primary competitor, for beef exports to Japan, said Amanda Countryman, a professor at Colorado State University who specializes in agriculture and trade.


Under the CPTPP agreement...


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