TOKYO – Tariffs on Japan’s imports of US beef are set to increase to 38.5 % from 25.8 % because US beef imports surpassed the annual trigger safeguard volume established under the US-Japan Trade Agreement (USJTA), the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture said.

Japan Customs reported imports of US beef from April 1, 2020, to March 10, 2021, reached 242,229 tonnes, exceeding the safeguard trigger level of 242,000 tonnes established in the second year of the USJTA, FAS said. Japan will temporarily increase tariffs on US beef beginning March 18 and ending April 16.

The USJTA came into force in January of 2020. Under the agreement, Japan committed to phasing out most tariffs, enacting tariff reductions, or implementing lower duties on a specific quantity of imports.

FAS said that under the USJTA, “…Japan immediately lowered tariffs on US beef from the most-favored nation rate of 38.5% to 26.6%. Tariffs were reduced further to 25.8% on April 1, 2020, and will eventually phase to 9% by 2033.

“The next round of tariff cuts was scheduled to occur on April 1, 2021, however due to imposition of the safeguard this will be delayed until April 17 when tariffs are reduced to 25%,” FAS added.