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Trade agreement with Japan projected to help U.S. pork exports grow

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Japan’s pork imports are estimated to increase to more than $6 billion over the next 5 years. Growth is supported by trade agreements Japan ratified between 2018 and 2021 with its major pork suppliers: the United States, the European Union (EU), and the 10 countries party to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). These agreements mandate reductions in Japan’s trade barriers on pork imports. For example, import tariffs on pork carcasses and other unprocessed meat products will drop from 4.3 percent in 2018 to zero by 2027. Similarly, tariffs on processed meat products will be lowered from 8.5 percent in 2018 to zero by 2028. A recent report from USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) estimates these trade agreements will boost 2028 exports to Japan from the United States, EU, and CPTPP countries to totals of $2.08 billion, $2.04 billion, and $2.03 billion, respectively. For the United States, this is a large gain compared with a scenario in which the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement did not exist. Under that scenario, U.S. pork exports to Japan would have totaled $1.41 billion, and EU and CPTPP countries would have gained market share at the expense of the United States. This chart was drawn from the ERS report The Impact of Recent Trade Agreements on Japan’s Pork Market, published in May 2023.

Japan's agricultural sector is protected by trade barriers

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Agriculture in Japan is heavily protected by trade barriers and domestic subsidies. Producer support estimates (PSEs), calculated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), show that about 50 percent of the value of Japan's farm production comes from government support. In comparison, U.S. government support of agricultural products accounts for about 7 percent of production value. While high by world standards, the degree of protection varies widely across commodities in Japan. Some agricultural industries can compete with imports without heavy protection because they use labor-saving technologies or produce commodities having unique characteristics. However, much of Japan's agricultural production is inefficient compared to exporting countries and is sheltered behind very high trade barriers and subsidies. This chart is an update of one found in the Japan topic on the ERS website from June 2010.