Japan and USA trade deal to cut beef and pork import tariffs

beef-japanUnder the Japan-Australia free trade agreement that took effect in January this year, Japan will cut its tariffs on Australian beef by up to half from the current 38.5 per cent. (Image source: Taryn/Flickr)Japan is likely to cut its high import tariffs on USA’s beef and pork and slightly ease tight restrictions on rice imports in order to seal Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal

Tokyo’s reported concessions came as talks accelerated with Washington to strike a bilateral deal as the core of an overdue agreement in the TPP.

A bilateral agreement between the two economies, which dominated the TPP, was considered key to a deal among the 12 nations, which account for 40 per cent of the world economy, Reuters reported.

Negotiators had hoped to clinch a deal by late last year.

Japan and the USA are working toward an agreement to cut Japan’s 38.5 per cent beef tariff to about 10 per cent over more than 10 years, the Nikkei newspaper said.

The reports added that top pork duties of US$ 4.1 per kg could be slashed to US$0.08 under a new formula, while Japan would demand ‘safeguards’ that would protect domestic producers if imports spiked. Beef and pork are among the farm markets that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reportedly vowed to protect under the TPP. The others are dairy, wheat and sugarcane.

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