What Happened: Japan is pushing for an adjustment of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) safeguard provisions to take into account increased beef imports from the United States as both countries are expected to sign a trade deal in late September, the Nikkei Asian Review reported Aug. 27. However, Australia, the leading CPTPP beef exporter, has already rejected including U.S. beef as part of the quota.
Why It Matters: Japan fears that an influx of cheap beef imports from Australia and the United States would overwhelm its domestic market and harm its farming industry. However, Tokyo will be required to walk a careful line between its commitments under the CPTPP, the terms of its U.S. trade deal and the risk of threatened U.S. auto tariffs.
Background: Japan imports 55 percent of its beef from Australia and over 34 percent from the United States, making Japan the third-largest markets for U.S. beef exports. Australian beef exports to Japan have risen substantially since the signing of the CPTPP due to lower tariffs, while the United States is seeking to increase its agricultural exports to Japan through a bilateral trade deal.