Japan Ends U.S. Beef Restrictions

Japan has fully opened its borders to U.S. beef eliminating long-standing restrictions.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the expansion, which takes effect immediately and allows products from all cattle, regardless of age, to enter Japan for the first time since a cattle disease in 2003. Before only cattle fewer than 30 months of age could be imported.

Perdue calls it great news for American ranchers and exporters, estimating it will increase exports to Japan by up to $200 million annually, “We are hopeful that Japan’s decision will help lead other markets around the world toward science-based policies.”

The change aligns Japan's import requirements with international standards.

However, Japan still has a tariff rate of 38.5% on U.S. beef products. Countries like Australia after signing the new Trans-Pacific Partnership, have tariff rates in the low 30%, set to be cut to around 20% percent after 18 years.

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