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Japan looks to use beef levies as leverage in US trade talks

Safeguard triggers kept in place, for now

The U.S. is expected to press for revised safeguards on beef exports when it meets Japanese negotiators in trade talks next year.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The Japanese government has decided not to change the conditions for introducing safeguard tariffs on beef imports, holding on to a bargaining chip that could be used in coming trade talks with the U.S.

Under the current safeguard rules for beef, tariffs automatically shoot up to 50% from 38.5% if the quarterly import volume exceeds the year-earlier figure by more than 17%. The higher tariffs then last through the following March, the end of Japan's fiscal year.

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