The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) outlined key meat and poultry industry negotiating objectives and priorities for a bilateral U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement in comments submitted to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The Trump Administration, in October, notified Congress of its intention to enter into trade negotiations with Japan, and subsequently requested public input.

“The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement stands to be a boon for the U.S. meat, poultry and animal products industry and will be integral to future growth,” wrote Bill Westman, Meat Institute senior vice president of International Affairs. “The agreement will provide economic benefits to the producers, processors and workers in the industry by making U.S. meat and poultry products more competitive in one of the most important markets in the Pacific region.”

The Meat Institute said U.S. beef exports should at least receive the same tariff benefits that have been granted to competitors under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which enters into force on December 30, 2018. Under CPTPP, Japan’s tariffs on beef imports will decline from 38.5 to nine percent in year 16 of the agreement.

In addition, trade negotiations should aim to phase out import tariffs on U.S. pork and return the U.S. to a level playing field upon implementation of the agreement. Similar to its position on U.S. beef exports, the Meat Institute urged that U.S. pork exports receive the same tariff benefits granted to competitors under CPTPP and the Japan-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement, or risk ceding significant market share in the U.S. pork industry’s top value market.

Furthermore, the Meat Institute encouraged negotiators to increase market access for U.S. meat industry byproducts, including hides, skins and leather products, by reducing, and ultimately eliminating, tariffs on those export products. The Meat Institute also expressed support for inclusion in a bilateral agreement of a strong chapter on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures to prevent non-scientific and unduly burdensome SPS import regulations from limiting U.S. meat and poultry exports to Japan.

Japan is the largest export market for U.S. beef and largest value market for U.S. pork.

Source: North American Meat Institute