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Audio: Agreement in Principle with Japan Tremendous News for U.S. Pork and Beef Industries

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On Aug. 25, President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced an agreement in principle that will greatly improve access for U.S. red meat in Japan ā€“ the largest value destination for U.S. pork and beef exports.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom discusses the importance of leveling the competitive playing field in Japan for U.S. pork and beef, which currently face significant tariff disadvantages compared to products imported from countries participating in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement.

Halstrom will be leading a delegation of pork, beef, corn and soybean producers and other U.S. ag industry leaders that will visit Japan in early September, and he notes that key customers in Japan will also be pleased to be gaining better access to U.S. red meat products.

TRANSCRIPT:

Joe Schuele: President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shizo Abe announced an agreement in principle that will greatly improve access for U.S. pork and beef in Japan, where these products currently face a tariff disadvantage compared to their main competitors. U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom has more on the significance of the agreement in this USMEF report:

Dan Halstrom: This is huge news. Our largest value market for both beef and pork: $3.7 billion in sales between the two last year. This puts us on an even playing field with our competitors, which is great. We can win if we’re on a level playing field, so this is absolutely good news for both the beef and pork industries. The industry has been very much aligned on the importance of Japan. We’ve been very clear on our message to USDA and USTR, and I have to commend USDA and USTR: they listened, they worked hard on our behalf, and we’re seeing the fruits of that work now. A big thank-you to everyone involved.

Joe Schuele: In early September, Halstrom will lead a delegation of producers and other ag industry leaders to Japan, where he says the news of this agreement will be very well received by key customers:

Dan Halstrom: Very loyal customer base for U.S. products in Japan. They’ve been loyal for decades, but the fact that they know that this change is coming, they can start planning ahead, and this is what they’ve been waiting for: clear direction on our status in terms of duty differentials viz-a-viz our competitors. This new is timely and welcome, and we will make the most of it when we’re over there in the first part of September. The market’s been growing even with this duty disadvantage. I’ll use beef as an example: We’re at a 12% duty disadvantage today on beef, but yet the market’s still expanding, albeit at a slower rate than we will be once the duties get to equal level with our competitors. If you look at the major segments of our business in Japan ā€” national retail, regional retail, food service, convenience stores segments ā€“ all of these segments are growing.

Joe Schuele: For more information, please visit usmef.org. For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, Iā€™m Joe Schuele.

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The U.S. Meat Export Federation (www.USMEF.org) is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations. USMEF complies with all equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action measures applicable to it by contract, government rule or regulation or as otherwise provided by law. USMEF is an equal opportunity employer and provider.