In this file:
· Japanese are eager to get U.S. red meat on level playing field
· US farmers hope Trump delivers on trade deal with Japan
Japanese are eager to get U.S. red meat on level playing field
Dave Preisler, Minnesota Pork Board CEO, says one of the areas that impressed him most is the contacts USMEF has already established throughout Japan.
Ann Hess, National Hog Farmer
Sep 05, 2019
It’s been less than two weeks since President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a trade agreement that will, once implemented, put U.S. red meat back on a level playing field with international competitors, but enthusiasm is already building across the largest value destination for U.S. pork and beef exports. That’s the consensus from a U.S. Meat Export Federation-led Heartland team touring Japan this week to see funding dollars at work.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm with the trade, with the customers in Japan about that,” says Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. “We are operating at a disadvantage at the moment, with a 12% duty disadvantage for the U.S. versus some of our key competitors like Australia, Canada and Mexico and also we’re at a disadvantage on the pork side with seasoned ground pork at about a 7% duty disadvantage, as well as the processed meats. We’re happy to say that the trade here in Japan is very enthusiastic about the prospect of getting on a level playing field sooner rather than later. I would say the timing of our trip in regard to that was perfect”...
... Dave Preisler, Minnesota Pork Board CEO, says one of the areas that impressed him most is the contacts USMEF has already established throughout Japan...
Dermot Hayes, an economist at Iowa State University, estimates exports to Japan will grow from $1.6 billion in 2018 to more than $2.2 billion over the next 15 years as a result of the U.S. pork industry getting market access in Japan as favorable as its competitors. With those potential figures in mind, Preisler says another takeaway for him was the overall impact the trade agreement could have on rural communities in the Midwest.
“Over half the calories in Japan are imported and that’s not going to change, in fact that number may even become more and why not have that come from, in our case, the Upper Midwest in the form of red meat,” Preisler says. “They’ve got a tremendous demand for it plus we know that we can supply the volume and quality they are demanding. In the end, what that does is take dollars from in this case, Japan, back into rural communities, whether they’re in rural Iowa and Nebraska or South Dakota and Minnesota, and that makes a difference as we try to have vibrant little communities in the Upper Midwest”...
US farmers hope Trump delivers on trade deal with Japan
By Kevin Freking and Paul Wiseman, Associated Press
via The Washington Post - September 5, 2019
WASHINGTON — American farmers have not only endured retaliatory tariffs from China and other nations, they’ve watched as most of their top foreign competitors used free trade agreements to make inroads into Japan, a historically protectionist market with nearly 127 million consumers.
Now they’re wondering if the coming U.S.-Japan trade deal that President Donald Trump is showcasing will be as strong for farmers as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was negotiated under President Barack Obama and ditched by Trump as soon as he took office.
When Trump bailed on TPP, competitors such as Canada, Mexico and Australia forged ahead with a revamped version of the trade deal. Not wanting to be left out, the European Union reached its own free trade agreement with Japan. Both agreements went into effect at the beginning of this year.
The result: Top foreign competitors to American farmers get a pricing advantage after taking into account the 38.5% import tax that is applied to American beef, the 20% tariff applied to American ground pork and the 40% duty applied to some cheeses.
The changes have contributed to a new trade landscape that saw U.S. farm exports to Japan drop 2% to $6.5 billion in the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year, according to the Agriculture Department.
“We’ve taken a temporary step backward because our competitors have had better access than us,” said Nick Giordano, a vice president at the National Pork Producers Council.
Giordano is hopeful that dynamic will change soon. The president, in need of some wins on the trade front, has said the U.S. and Japan have agreed in principle on a new trade pact that the two parties hope to make official later this month...
... “Japan is very important to us,” Giordano said, calling it pork producers’ largest-value market year in and year out. He added: “We’re losing sales to our EU and TPP competitors. So we’re just really real eager to get back to a level playing field there and this deal is going to do it.”
For all of Trump’s criticism of Obama’s TPP, it’s unclear whether Trump will be able to secure better terms than the ones farmers would have gained under Obama. The American Farm Bureau Federation had projected that TPP would have increased net farm income by $4.4 billion annually...