Japan signs trade agreement that will lower tariffs for US beef purchases

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Japan recently signed a new trade agreement that lowers tariffs for U.S. beef.

Earlier this year, President Trump signed a trade agreement with Japan. This week, the Japanese government approved that trade deal.

AG officials in our area say this will bring more jobs and growth to the economy.

“We’re going to be able to send a lot of product to Japan, and that’s going to benefit us here in the panhandle because what’s good for the cattle feeding industry is good for the Texas Panhandle,” Josh Winegarner, Director of Industry Affairs at TCFA, explained.

The Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) said they are hoping this will open doors to making similar agreements with other countries.

“Each trade deal sets the standard for the next trade deal so us being able to get into more markets helps us get into other countries,” Winegarner stated.

As far as the economic impact locally, ranchers may start to see an increase in demand for beef as tariffs are reduced.

“Japan is a $2 billion market for U.S. beef exports and that’s with a 38.5% tariff. This trade agreement will reduce that tariff down to nine percent over 15 years,” Winegarner said.

Local ranchers are hoping that with the possible increased demand the trade deal will also provide more jobs.

“The market sets the demand signals and that’s the beauty of capitalism is it will allocate resources appropriately,” Paul Defoor, said.

The trade agreement will go into effect January 1, 2020.

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