As Australia Comes Back Online, the Need for a Permanent Trade Deal with Japan Becoming CriticalWed, 23 May 2018 11:41:35 CDT
In Japan, the largest market for US beef, we continue to be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to the tariff rate compared to Australia, for example. Currently, as a non-member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the US is subject to a 38.5 percent tariff rate. And while marketing conditions have been favorable recently, which has allowed American beef producers to capitalize on this fleeting situation we are in currently, Kent Bacus with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says we can’t rely on that to continue and must seek a long-term solution. He says, there are two ways in which we can fix that issue and achieve a more level playing field for the US beef industry. He explained how during a recent conversation with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays.
“We would love to see TPP come back,” Bacus said, highlighting the first option. “I don’t think that message could be any more clear. But we have to face realities. This administration walked away from TPP and while there’s been a few remarks here and yonder - we haven’t seen real progress in getting back into TPP.”
The second option and one that seems to have more support from the White House, is to negotiate a bilateral agreement with Japan. Bacus says this is more likely to happen then getting back in on TPP, insisting that the “well has been poisoned” on TPP and getting traction on that in Congress has been difficult as of late. Success can be had though with a bilateral agreement. Bacus points to the growing success of the US - South Korea trade deal, or KORUS, as a prime example of a treaty that works. Regardless of which avenue is taken, Bacus says the main thing is to get the ball rolling one way or the other.
“While we may have a better chance of getting a bilateral, we’re going to support any initiative that moves the needle on this. We’re going to feel the pain once Australia comes back online and can start producing beef,” he asserted. “The last thing we need is more talk. We need to see some clear progress.”
Listen to Bacus and Hays discuss the progress being made, or lack thereof, when it comes to the administration’s efforts to strike a bilateral trade agreement with Japan, on today’s Beef Buzz. You can also listen to their complete conversation by clicking over to our Perspectives podcast, for the full version.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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