North Dakota Stockmen’s Association applauds Japanese trade deal
The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) is a 90-year-old beef cattle trade organization representing 3,000 North Dakota cattle ranching families. NDSA President Dan Rorvig, a McVille, N.D., cow-calf producer, issued the following statement today following the announcement of a bilateral trade agreement between the United States and Japan:
“Today’s announcement of a new bilateral trade agreement with Japan is welcome news for North Dakota’s cattle ranching families. Between the weather and the markets, it’s been a difficult year for cattlemen and cattlewomen across our state and this agreement, which will significantly reduce onerous tariffs on U.S. beef and make our producers more competitive in the global beef market, comes at a critical time. That’s because, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, had nothing been done, the widening tariff gap between the U.S. and its global competitors was estimated to cost our beef producers more than $1.2 billion in lost opportunities by 2028. Put another way, that would have equated to nearly $44 per head.
“Japan has been our country’s no. 1 beef market in terms of value over recent years, despite the incredible disadvantage of 38.5 percent tariffs on U.S. beef. This new deal will give our domestic beef industry more leverage and a level playing field with our competitors so we can expand our market share in Japan and, hopefully, return more dollars to the pockets of North Dakota’s hardworking cow-calf producers.”
Other facts to note:
• In 2018, Japanese consumers purchased nearly $2.1 billion of U.S. beef. That accounted for nearly one-fourth of the total U.S. beef export sales.
• Before this agreement, U.S. beef has faced a 38.5 percent tariff in Japan. Meanwhile, U.S. beef competitors from Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand have been subject to only a 26.6 percent tariff in Japan, and that is scheduled to gradually decline even further to 9 percent.
• Ambassador Gregg Doud, chief agricultural negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative, briefed the state’s cattlemen and cattlewomen about ongoing trade talks with Japan, China, India and other places during the NDSA’s 90th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Minot, N.D., last Saturday.
• Expanding market access in Japan has been a priority of the NDSA for many years, as this already substantial market is growing and utilizes many specialty cuts that have less value when sold here in the United States.