Ag Policy Blog

Trump Highlights Tariff Beef with Japan

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump told supporters at a campaign stop in Nebraska on Friday that he plans to go tit-for-tat when it comes to tariffs on ag products such as beef.

“There won’t be any more tariffs with Japan, or if there will, we’re going to do it the opposite way to them. All I have to do is say ‘That’s alright. You want to charge a tariff of 38 percent to Nebraska for its beef? Then we’re going to charge you a tariff of 38 percent when you sell your cars to the United States. It’s a very simple thing,’” Trump said. http://netnebraska.org/…

Trump added that he would make sure China buys U.S. beef as well. Most of China has not allowed direct imports of U.S. beef though U.S. beef is exported to Hong Kong. http://columbustelegram.com/…

Yet Trump opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would lower the tariff on beef going to Japan, though slowly over time. Japan's tariffs on beef are 38.5%. Under the TPP, the tariffs will fall over all to 9% over 15 years.

U.S. beef producers have supported TPP partially because it would level the playing field with Australia. Under the Australia-Japan FTA, which came into effect in January last year, Australian beef producers will see their tariff in to Japan drop to 23.5% for chilled beef within 15 years. The tariff for frozen beef will fall to 19.5% within 18 years.

U.S. beef exports to Japan hit $1.58 billion in 2014, but dropped roughly 18% in 2015. The U.S. spent more than a decade rebuilding the beef market to Japan after being cut off in 2003 following a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

The U.S. tariff on imported autos is 2.5% while it is 25% for trucks.

U.S. automakers, by the way, have criticized TPP largely because they don't view it gives them enough market access to Japan.

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Jay Mcginnis
5/10/2016 | 6:52 AM CDT
Simple ideas for simple people