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Japan to discuss emergency tariffs on U.S. beef at bilateral dialogue

Japan will discuss the imposition of emergency tariffs on frozen
beef imports with the United States under a bilateral economic
dialogue, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said Tuesday.

His remarks came after Japan raised tariffs on frozen beef from
the United States and other countries from the current 38.5 percent
to 50 percent until next March, after their imports surged.

Under World Trade Organization rules, Japan can introduce
safeguard tariffs when imports grow more than 17 percent in a quarter
on a year-on-year basis.

Aso said there is "room for consideration" as to whether the
time span should be reviewed. He added that the safeguard would not
have been triggered if the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade
agreement had taken effect.

"I expect this is the kind of issue that will likely be
discussed during the economic dialogue (with the United States),"
Aso, who doubles as finance minister, told reporters after a Cabinet

Japan was planning to abolish the safeguard mechanism with the
taking effect of the Pacific free trade deal from which the United
States withdrew in line with the launch of President Donald Trump's

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has warned that the
imposition of higher tariffs "would harm our important bilateral
trade relationship with Japan." (Aug. 1)

Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister
Yuji Yamamoto attends a press conference in Tokyo
on July 28, 2017, as the government decided to impose
emergency tariffs on frozen beef from the United
States and other regions, raising from the current 38.5
percent to 50 percent, staring in August, due to soaring
shipments. (Kyodo)