Japan officials announced Friday it would impose a temporary 50% tariff on frozen beef from the U.S. and several other countries starting August 1st.
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The increase from 38.5% to 50% will last a total of eight months through March of 2018 and will only affect exporters from countries, including the U.S., that do not have free trade agreements with Japan “currently in force.”
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue immediately released a statement saying, “I am concerned that an increase in Japan's tariff on frozen beef imports will impede U.S. beef sales and is likely to increase the United States’ overall trade deficit with Japan. This would harm our important bilateral trade relationship with Japan on agricultural products.”
Additionally, Perdue says it will also negatively affect Japanese consumers by raising prices and limiting their access to high-quality U.S. frozen beef.
“I have asked representatives of the Japanese government directly and clearly to make every effort to address these strong concerns, and the harm that could result to both American producers and Japanese consumers,” Perdue wrote.
According to the USDA, U.S. exports of beef and beef products to Japan totaled $1.5 billion last year, making the U.S. its top market.