Background

The U.S. and Japan signed recently a new agreement designed to reduce the probability that safeguard duties will be imposed on exports of U.S. beef to Japan, the United States’ second-largest beef export market in 2021.

According to a press release from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the beef safeguard mechanism under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement will be revised to provide that the following three criteria must be met for Japan to implement the safeguard and impose a temporary higher tariff on U.S. beef.

- imports from the U.S. must exceed the original beef safeguard trigger level under the agreement

- the aggregate volume of beef imports from the U.S. and the original signatories of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership must exceed the CPTPP beef safeguard

- imports from the U.S. must exceed the total amount of beef imports from the U.S. during the previous year (this trigger will be in effect until 2027)

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