USMEF's Dan Halstrom on the Strength of US Beef Exports to Japan Despite Its Tariff Disadvantage


Oklahoma Farm Report 

12 Aug 2019


Despite the challenges of higher tariffs against US beef versus its major competitors, Dan Halstrom, president and CEO of the US Meat Export Federation, says the industry has managed to continue to perform exceptionally well in the Japanese market all things considered. He offered his insight into the current situation in that marketplace during a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays.


“We’re flat in Japan at $2.1 billion in sales and that’s in the face of some very stiff headwinds with the differential duty of 12 to 13 percent versus Australia. The problem is - that number only gets bigger over time. That’s the bad news,” Halstrom said. “The good news is that the Administration is getting some momentum on a Japan-US ag fast track deal. So, we’re enthusiastic and excited about the possibilities there of doing something rather than later, because time will slip by us if we’re not careful.”


Now that the US is no longer a part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and subject to higher tariffs than its competitors, Halstrom says the USMEF’s job marketing US beef and red meat products is quite a bit more difficult. In anticipation that a deal will soon be struck between the US and Japan, though, he says the organization is working diligently to protect its market share from the encroachment of competitors that are subject to less stringent tariffs. In order to do this, Halstrom says the USMEF relies heavily on US beef’s best selling point - its overall quality.


“The advantage we have going in is we have some of the best quality products in the world. But everything in the end comes down to economics. So, my argument would be, if we didn’t have this duty disadvantage, imagine how good the numbers could be,” he said...


more, including audio [6:15 min.]