Japan Imposes Stiff Tariffs on Imported US Frozen Beef

Japan says tariffs on U.S. imports of frozen beef will rise to 50 percent next month, from the current 38.5 percent.

“The tariff will take effect automatically as the volume of the imported U.S. frozen beef exceeded the quota set by law,” Finance Minister Taro Aso said Friday.

Under World Trade Organization rules, Japan can impose safeguard tariffs when imports rise more than 17 percent, year-on-year in any given quarter.

Japan, known for its world-famous Kobe beef, prized by chefs around the world for its tenderness, flavor and marbled fat, uses tariffs and other measures to protect its farmers from competition.

Peter Seng, chief executive of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, said in a statement the 50 percent tariff has implications for U.S. beef exports that are “significant.”

Australia, however, which exports almost as much beef to Japan as the U.S., is not facing the emergency tariffs because it has a free trade agreement with Japan as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP trade agreement shortly after taking office.

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