ERS Charts of Note
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Tuesday, July 18, 2023
The United States has long been a top supplier of beef to Japan. U.S. market share collapsed in 2004 after a single case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly referred to as “mad cow disease,” was detected in a cow shipped from Canada to the United States. In response, Japan placed an embargo on all U.S. and Canadian beef products. Japan reduced its imports of U.S. beef to almost zero in 2004 after importing 267,000 metric tons the previous year. During those two years, the U.S. share of Japan’s beef imports fell from 46.4 percent in 2003 to nearly zero in 2004, and Japan increased its imports of beef from Australia, which had never reported a case of BSE. In 2006, Japan began phasing out the ban on U.S. beef and fully lifted it in May 2019. Over this period, U.S. beef imports rebounded nearly to pre-ban levels, shipping 233,000 metric tons to Japan in 2021. Even so, Australia still supplied most of Japan’s beef imports (40.7 percent), followed by the United States (39.8 percent), Canada (8.5 percent), New Zealand (4.7 percent), and Mexico (3.3 percent). Recently ratified trade agreements between Japan and these partner countries are expected to contribute to changes in Japan’s market for imported beef. Researchers at USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) estimate that by 2033, annual scheduled reductions in Japan’s import tariffs will increase imports of U.S. beef by 27 percent, or $413.8 million, from 2018 levels. This chart first appeared in the ERS report, The Impact of Japan’s Trade Agreements and Safeguard Renegotiation on U.S. Access to Japan’s Beef Market, June 2023.
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.
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.