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Cattle Ranchers May Benefit From Pacific Trade Deal

Amy Mayer
Harvest Public Media
Cattle ranchers in the Midwest may enjoy a better market in Japan if the Trans Pacific Partnership is implemented.

The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal will change tariffs on agricultural exports, but for Midwest farmers and ranchers, the devil is in the details.

The TPP agreement could cut tariffs levied by many countries on U.S. exports like pork and rice, making it easier to get some products into markets in Asia.

Midwest cattle ranchers scored a win under the deal with a big tariff cut in Japan, says David Salmonsen of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

"Reduction in tariffs on beef, from 38 and half percent to 9 percent," he says. "Those will be phased in over 15 years."

The National Farmers Union, however, criticizes the agreement for allowing Japan to reinstate its tariffs if it determines American beef imports are hurting its domestic market.

Congress has yet to approve the deal, though an earlier vote for trade promotion authority means the lawmakers can only give it a thumbs up or thumbs down, they cannot make any changes.

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