Japan is planning to drastically review its tariffs on U.S. pork to increase its imports, responding to a strong call from Washington in bilateral talks related to 12-country Pacific free trade negotiations, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.
Japan will likely reduce tariffs on pork — one of the country’s five farm product categories designated as off-limits — in a wide range of prices, but Tokyo and Washington have yet to find common ground on the extent of tariff cuts, the sources added.
The issue has been one of the biggest sticking points between Japan and the United States, the two largest economies in the Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative. They will aim to fill gaps during bilateral working-level talks slated for Thursday and Friday in Washington, they said.
Japan currently levies tariffs on pork in three different ways according to price range, under which the lower the pork import price, the higher the levies are imposed, with the aim of blocking an influx of inexpensive products from overseas.
On low-priced pork, Japan imposes up to 482 yen per kilogram, while high-priced pork is subject to a 4.3 percent tariff.