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Frozen-beef exports to Japan fell 26 percent in August after a tariff increase on U.S. beef in Japan intended to protect the country's farmers, according to recent reports.

Frozen-beef imports slid to 4,758 tons in August, down 26 percent from a year ago, Reuters reported.

To help domestic producers, Japan triggered a safeguard mechanism in July that increased tariffs on frozen beef from the U.S. to 50 percent.

Before, they were set at 38.5 percent.

Travis Justice, chief economist at the Arkansas Farm Bureau, said Japan's decision has "doubled our tariff disadvantage" against Australia, a key exporter whose frozen beef is cheaper in Japan because of a 27.2 percent tariff rate.

In a news release Wednesday, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts encouraged Congress and President Donald Trump's administration to address the effects of Japan's beef tariffs.

"A new deal is critical to growing our number one commodity here in the Beef State," Ricketts said in a statement.

As frozen sales dropped, Reuters reported that U.S. chilled-beef sales surged nearly 55 percent, meaning overall beef imports from the U.S. were up by about a fifth.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to update beef export data today.

-- Nathan Owens

Business on 10/06/2017

Print Headline: Japan tariff cited in frozen-beef sales dip

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