Tester Statement on U.S. Beef Exports to Japan

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – From his farm in Big Sandy, U.S. Senator Jon Tester released the following statement today regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement about U.S. beef exports to Japan.

“Putting American beef fully back on the menu in Japan will help our cattle ranchers grow their operations and continue to make a living off the land. This is a critical step in the right direction because we should be opening up foreign markets, not damaging longstanding trade alliances. I will continue to hold this Administration accountable by defending family farmers and ranchers against harmful tariffs and keep pushing to sell Montana beef to the world.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the United States and Japan have agreed on new terms and conditions that eliminate Japan’s longstanding restrictions on U.S. beef exports. The new terms, which take effect immediately, could increase U.S. beef and beef product exports to Japan by up to $200 million annually. At an Appropriations Committee Hearing last month, Tester urged Perdue to prioritize a bilateral trade agreement with Japan to protect Montana farmers and ranchers’ access to one of the world’s largest beef and wheat markets.

Tester has fought hard to expand access to foreign markets for Montana producers, while defending against unfair international trade practices. After Tester testified to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on behalf of Montana timber producers, the WTO upheld U.S. sanctions on Canada’s unfair trade policy regarding softwood lumber last month. Tester also helped lift China’s ban on American beef back in 2017 and successfully secured a ban on Brazilian beef imports following reports that Brazil was exporting rotten beef treated with cancer-causing acid products.