Heoven Statement on Japanese Tariff Increase for U.S. Frozen Beef

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a member of the Agriculture Committee, today issued the following statement after Japan increased its tariff for frozen beef from the U.S. and other countries from 38.5 percent to 50 percent.

“Japan’s action underscores the need for fair and strongly enforced trade agreements with other nations. Such an agreement would protect our producers’ access to the Japanese market, providing stronger and more stable commodity prices at home and ensuring our high quality products are available to the consumers that demand them. While the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue is ongoing, I will continue working to support efforts to advance new market opportunities for our farmers, ranchers and small businesses.”

The increase puts U.S. ranchers at a disadvantage to those in Australia, which only face a 27.2 percent tariff due to a deal the country reached with Japan in 2015. In February, the U.S. president and Japanese prime minister agreed to an Economic Dialogue to improve and deepen trade relations between the two nations. This effort aligns with Hoeven’s work to expand overseas opportunities for American farmers, ranchers and small businesses. Among other things, his efforts include:

  • Serving as a member of the Senate-House Conference Committee that crafted the final farm bill of 2014, which directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create an undersecretary of trade and foreign agricultural affairs. USDA recently announced plans to create the position to help grow foreign markets for U.S. agriculture.
  • Pressing the Administration to reach an agreement with China to open the country to U.S. beef imports. The Commerce Department recently announced it had reached an agreement to export U.S. beef to China.
  • Urging Agriculture Secretary Perdue and Commerce Secretary Ross to reach a sugar agreement with Mexico that is fair to American farmers and ensure its strict enforcement.
  • Backing the U.S. Trade Representative in bringing a compliance case against China in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Under its WTO obligations, China would have imported as much as $3.5 billion worth of additional U.S. wheat, corn and rice in 2015 alone.
  • Ensuring domestic honey producers receive all of the proceeds collected from settlements.