North Dakota Stockmen’s Association celebrates new US beef access to Japan

Staff reports
Farm Forum

Dan Rorvig, North Dakota Stockmen’s Association president and McVille, N.D., cow-calf producer, issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement that, effective immediately, Japan will eliminate its longstanding restrictions on U.S. beef exports, allowing U.S. products from cattle, regardless of age, to enter the country for the first time since 2003.

“This is fantastic news for the U.S. beef industry and cattle ranchers across the country," Rorvig said. "The expanded access is expected to increase U.S. beef exports to Japan by up to $200 million a year. Equally important, it knocks down a substantial non-science-based trade barrier that has restricted opportunities for U.S. cattlemen and women and sends the message to other U.S. trading partners that they should do the same.”

“The Stockmen’s Association is also encouraged by recent discussions between the U.S. and Japan about the possibility of a bilateral trade agreement. As a next step, we are hopeful we can reduce the 38.5 percent tariff that’s on U.S. beef right now and become more competitive with countries like Australia and New Zealand, who are subject to only a fraction of that.”

Even before today’s change, Japan has been a leading U.S. beef export market. In 2018 alone, it imported 330,217 metric tons of U.S. beef valued at approximately $2.8 billion. That’s up 7 percent in volume and 10 percent in value over the previous year.