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Japan's Beef, Pork Imports Grow in 2019 Under Pacific Free Trade Deal

31 January 2020

JAPAN - Japan imported more beef and pork in 2019 than the previous year, largely due to a trans-Pacific free trade agreement, government data showed Thursday, signaling challenges facing domestic farmers amid the influx of cheaper imports.

Total beef imports grew 1.3 percent from 2018 to 615,387 tons. Among the 11 members of the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership, shipments from Canada doubled, followed by a 33.1 percent increase from New Zealand, according to the Finance Ministry.

US beef imports, meanwhile, dropped 2.6 percent to 241,050 tons. The United States withdrew from the TPP after President Donald Trump took office in 2017.

But as Tokyo and Washington have reached a trade deal, US imports are expected to rise this year.

Japan's pork imports totaled 958,965 tons, up 3.7 percent, with those from Mexico, another TPP member, rising 14.7 percent and from Canada gaining 4.6 percent. Japanese tariffs on beef and pork imports were lowered under the partnership, which took effect in December 2018.

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Source: Japan Today

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