Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association sent a letter on behalf of its members and state affiliates urging quick passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). NCBA President Tracy Brunner said cattle producers cannot afford to wait any longer for passage of this critical agreement.
“The value exports add to U.S. beef is undeniable,” said Brunner. “Asia and the Pacific Rim are extremely valuable markets for U.S. beef. We not only export steaks and ground beef, but this region demands high quality variety meats like beef tongue. Those products bring a premium in these markets and add value back to producers here at home. Trade is an investment in our future, profitability for the next generation.”
In 2015, trade added an estimated $325 per head in value. Japan is the largest export market for U.S. beef, amounting to $1.3 billion this past year. Currently, U.S. beef faces a 38.5 percent tariff in Japan. With the implementation of the Australia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, Australian beef has a 10 percent tariff advantage over U.S. beef.
“Due to the preferential agreement between Australia and Japan, U.S. producers have lost over $100 million in sales to Japan this past year,” said Brunner. “The only way to level the playing field, stop the erosion of our market and rebuild market share is passage of TPP. Once TPP is passed the tariff rate on our beef into Japan will immediately reduce to 27.5 percent and continue to reduce to 9 percent over 16 years.”
There are around 260 preferential trade agreements in force worldwide, only 14 of which include the United States. The NCBA urges Congress to quickly take up and pass the TPP to ensure a viable future for U.S. beef exports.