The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement (USJTA) entered Year 5 of the agreement implementation on April 1, 2023. This report is one in a series of product briefs highlighting the tariff benefits for specific commodities and products from Year 5 (2023) to Year 7 (2025) of the Agreement.
In 2022, the United States exported $2.32 billion of beef products to Japan, making Japan the #2
overseas market for U.S. beef. Japan is a major importer of chilled and frozen meat and offal (mainly tongues and skirts). The United States accounted for nearly half of Japan’s total beef imports. Under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, the United States obtained tariff treatment for beef equal to the countries in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The years below correspond to Japan’s fiscal year beginning April 1.
U.S. beef is subject to a country-specific safeguard which started at 242,000 MT in Year 1 and grows around one to two percent each year. The safeguard is composed of a three-trigger mechanism requiring exact conditions to be met in order for Japan to implement the safeguard and impose higher tariffs. If the conditions are met and the safeguard is implemented on or before January 31, tariffs on certain U.S. beef exports will increase for the remainder of that Japan fiscal year (March-ending). In cases where the conditions are met during February or March, the safeguard measure will be applied for 45 days and 30 days, respectively. The safeguard tariff started at 38.5% and declines over time. The safeguard will be eliminated if not triggered in the four consecutive years after 2032
Japan relies on imports for around 65 percent of its beef consumption. The United States is a dominant supplier, along with Australia. Consumption is trending upward, but not yet recovered to pre-2001 levels (when demand plunged following domestic detection of mad cow disease). In recent years, consumer preferences have shifted away from heavily marbled Japanese wagyu beef toward thicker, leaner cuts of imported grain-fed beef. U.S.-style steak is now readily available in family restaurants and fast-casual style eateries. In May 2019, Japan lifted longstanding age restrictions on U.S. beef, paving the way for greater imports of trimmings and offal products. Under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, the United States gained beef tariff parity with Australia for the first time since 2015.
Further information is available at www.usdajapan.org.