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Issue Background


Top 5 Export Markets in 2016 for U.S. Beef

Japan = $1.5 billion

Korea = $1.06 billion

Mexico = $975 million

Canada = $758 million

Hong Kong = $684 million



*World Total — 6.3 Billion (Jan.-Dec. 2016)

*Source: USMEF

Important Trade Deals

  • North American Free Trade Agreement  - NAFTA has been one of the greatest success stories in the history of the American beef industry by removing tariffs on U.S. beef exports to Canada and Mexico and developing roughly $2 billion in annual sales. In fact, since NAFTA was implemented in 1993, U.S. beef exports to Mexico have increased more than 750 percent. Any potential renegotiation of NAFTA must protect the market access and scientific standards that NAFTA has provided for the U.S. beef industry for the past 24 years.


  • Prioritize Bi-Lateral Trade with Japan – Japan is the top export market for U.S. beef even with a 38.5% tariff. Unfortunately, the Australians only face a 27.5% tariff, giving them a significant advantage. TPP would have leveled the playing field but the Trump Administration has decided to pursue bilateral agreements instead of TPP. Therefore, Congress and the Trump Administration must prioritize bi-lateral trade with Japan and seek terms that will give us access that surpasses terms of TPP.


  • NCBA supports the ongoing negotiations between the U.S. and the European Union for the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). In 2014, Europe purchased $275 million of U.S. beef even with many non-tariff trade barriers in place. Europe places many non-science based restrictions on U.S. beef that must be addressed in T-TIP. NCBA believes that all food production and safety standards must be based on sound science and timely risk assessments.

Asia:  A Growing Market for U.S. Beef

  • Japan — In 2016, Japan was the largest export market for U.S. beef totaling $1.5 billion. Unfortunately, since the U.S. pulled out of TPP, the current 38.5% tariff on American beef will remain unchanged, instead of being phased down and giving us equal treatment as our competitors from Australia. NCBA supports a swift bilateral trade agreement with Japan that will provide these benefits to American beef producers.


  •  South Korea — The Korea-United States Trade Agreement, implemented in 2012, has been a resounding success for American producers. Sales of U.S. beef to South Korea have skyrocketed from $582 million to $1.06 billion in 2016 — a whopping jump of 82 percent!


  • China — In 2016, China lifted its 13-year ban on imports of American beef, but many bureaucratic hurdles remain before exports to the world’s most populous nation can resume. NCBA supports all efforts to quickly re-open access for American beef producers to China’s 1.3 billion hungry consumers.


  •  Taiwan — In 2014, Taiwan consumed $294 million worth of U.S. beef. Unfortunately Taiwan still places an age-based restriction of 30 months on its beef imports despite the U.S. having negligible risk status designation from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Additional Resources

Video: NCBA Promotes, Celebrates U.S. Beef in Beijing

Video: The Great U.S.-China Beef Cookoff of 2017

​Video: NCBA Rancher to Congress: Japan and Asia-Pacific Markets Vital for U.S. Beef