“Canada Rejoins Japanese Beef Market After Two Decades”

Canada’s beef industry has gained full access to Japan’s beef market, marking a significant milestone in the country’s trade relationship with Japan. This marks the first time in two decades that Japan has reopened its doors to Canadian processed beef after imposing restrictions in 2003 due to the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Alberta.

This breakthrough represents Canada’s new era and its second-largest beef and beef product market. By expanding market access for Canadian exporters, Japanese consumers will have greater access to high-quality beef products from Canada. Moreover, the move removes the last remaining restrictions on Canadian beef that Japan put in place after the BSE case.

Under the new Indo-Pacific Strategy, the Canadian government is committed to seizing economic opportunities for Canada by strengthening regional partnerships, including with Japan. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, with the support of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, has worked tirelessly to ensure the highest production standards and quality assurance of Canadian beef to reopen full access to key markets like Japan.

Japan is an essential market for Canada and the world. In 2022, the Japanese market for Canadian beef and beef products had an estimated value of $518 million, largely due to Canada’s preferential access under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This expanded market access opportunity follows another loosening of restrictions in 2019, when Japan approved imports of Canadian beef from cattle older than 30 months.

The removal of trade barriers for processed beef in Japan is a significant win for Canadian cattle producers. The industry will continue to support global food security by providing some of the world’s most sustainable and highest-quality beef. Nathan Phinney, President of the Canadian Cattle Association, expressed gratitude for the removal of trade barriers and emphasized the importance of expanding trade capacity in the Indo-Pacific region.

This agreement will allow Canadian beef exporters to further build on their recent successes in Japan since the CPTPP was ratified. Under the CPTPP, Japan’s 38.5% tariff on beef imports, including primary processed products like ground beef patties, will decrease to 23.35% by April 1, 2023, and will go down to 9% by 2033. Tariffs on further processed beef products will be reduced even more and, in some cases, eliminated altogether. This change provides Canadian exporters with a clear tariff advantage over their key competitors.

The Canadian government’s efforts to strengthen regional partnerships with Japan will continue to create more opportunities for Canadian beef exporters, ensuring the industry’s continued growth and success. Christopher White, President and CEO of the Canadian Meat Council, expressed his satisfaction with this expansion of beef access to Japan, highlighting that it is a critical market for Canadian beef products, including processed beef and beef patties. The new market access will enable Canadian exporters to provide Japanese consumers with high-quality beef products and further expand trade capacity in the Indo-Pacific region.

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