By YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Small business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Imported American beef in Japan has proved so popular it’s topped the yearly boundaries referred to as “safeguards,” and the U.S. Meat Export Federation on Thursday urged Tokyo to elevate the threshold.

Japan’s import restrict for American beef of 242,000 metric tons was reached in early March, and so tariffs will be raised from 25.8% to 38.5% for a month, starting up Thursday through April 16, in accordance to the Japanese Finance Ministry.

Japan’s limitations on imports of meat and other farm items have been a recurring trade issue with the U.S., which closely imports Toyota vehicles and Nintendo online video video games.

“Triggering of the beef safeguard is not unpredicted,” USMEF, which promotes American beef, reported in a statement.

“In truth, centered on our 15-12 months outlook, USMEF jobs that with out an maximize to the safeguard threshold, Japan’s imports of U.S. beef are likely to cause the once-a-year safeguard every single 12 months.”

A bilateral trade settlement signed in 2019 delivered for U.S. beef imports to gradually increase, and taxes to drop from 38.5% initially to 25.8%, and inevitably to 9% in 15 years.

The Japan-U.S. Trade Settlement also says that if the safeguard gets established off, Japan agrees to consult with the U.S. to modify the level.

Japan’s imports of U.S. beef rose 3% in the very first part of the year compared to the preceding 12 months. American beef exports to South Korea and China have also been expanding.

For a long time, Japanese buyers chosen the local, marbled but expensive beef. In recent decades, preferences have slowly transformed.

In 2018, the United States exported $2.1 billion of beef and beef merchandise to Japan. Japan is the U.S. largest export industry for beef, based mostly on price.

In an energy to make up for the decrease in dining out because of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. meat exporters have been carrying out a social media marketing campaign in Japan with recipes and photos to stimulate cooking beef at household.

Australia is the greatest rival for the U.S. in beef exports to Japan, but the cattle offer in Australia has suffered recently because of drought.

Japan banned American beef imports in December 2003 just after the to start with situation of mad cow disorder in the U.S. The ban was eased in December 2005, but tightened yet again the subsequent month, just after prohibited spinal bones were identified in a veal cargo. Beef imports resumed in 2007.

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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