For 40 years, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) has worked with our industry partners and USDA to enhance the profitability of America’s livestock producers by building demand in export markets. With U.S. beef exports having grown to more than $7 billion per year, it is more important than ever that we maximize our access to these destinations.
As USMEF and others in the industry have previously noted, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) includes significant market access gains for U.S. beef – especially in Japan, our largest export market, and in Vietnam. TPP also includes important enforcement mechanisms that could help the U.S. address the types of technical barriers that often limit and obstruct U.S. meat exports.
Many in the U.S. beef industry had expressed hope that Congress would ratify TPP in its lame duck session prior to the end of President Obama’s term. We now know that this will not happen, but what will become of TPP and our future trading relationships with countries in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region?
U.S. beef exports already face a significant tariff disadvantage in Japan compared to Australian beef. Currently U.S. beef entering Japan is subject to a 38.5% tariff, while tariffs on Australian beef are 27.5% (frozen) and 30.5% (fresh). TPP would immediately close this gap, but without TPP it will widen each year until tariffs on Australian beef reach 19%.