The Japanese authorities intend to raise the duty on imports of American beef from the current 25.8% to 38.5%.
The Japanese government intends to impose restrictive duties on imports of beef from the United States because it may soon exceed the mutually agreed quota. It is expected that such a measure will be adopted soon, the national public television reported on Tuesday.
According to the bilateral agreement, the United States has the right to supply up to 242 thousand tons of beef to the market of its Far Eastern ally during the fiscal year (which ends in Japan on March 31). However, in February, this volume amounted to 233 thousand tons and soon clearly exceeded the limit.
To protect its producers, Tokyo immediately intends to raise American beef imports from the current 25.8% to 38.5%. The parties must then hold consultations within 10 days to resolve the conflict. Protective duties will be introduced for the first time since 2017.
Disputes over the import of American meat have repeatedly caused an aggravation of bilateral economic relations. The Japanese government, the Kyodo news agency noted on Tuesday, is afraid that this will damage the still-forming relations with the administration of US President Joe Biden. In particular, in early April, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga intends to pay a visit to Washington, where he will hold the first talks with the new head of the White House.
On the first day of 2020, a comprehensive trade agreement between the two countries entered into force, which, in particular, provides for a gradual reduction in duties on imports of American beef, pork, cheese, and wine. In return, the United States agreed not to raise tariffs on Japanese cars, which was then openly threatened by the administration of former President Donald Trump. Washington also agreed to reduce or phase out some Japanese goods duties, including automated machine tools and marbled beef.