WASHINGTON — A report released by the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that Japan's pork imports could increase between 3.6% and 13.9% by 2028, compared to 2018 levels, which would raise the value of US pork exports to Japan by $281 million.

The report titled “Impact of Recent Trade Agreements on Japan’s Pork Market,” noted that Japan has ratified several trade agreements recently, removing a number of trade barriers. Current barriers include three tariff mechanisms: gate price, ad valorem and safeguard.

Pork products undergo a 4.3% to 8.5% price increase due to the ad valorem tariffs.

The trade agreements Japan has ratified so far include those with the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) countries.

According to ERS, the changes outlined in Japan’s recent trade agreements could greatly improve the competitiveness of trade agreement partner countries in Japan’s pork market.

The United States wouldn’t be the only country to benefit from the changes. The report estimates that by 2028 EU, UK and CPTPP would increase the value of total pork exports to Japan by $244.5 million, $210,000 and $232.8 million, respectively.

While Japan’s imports would increase, the country’s domestic production would decrease from 4.2% to 11.8% across processed pork products.

“With essentially all of Japan’s pork imports originating in trade agreement partner countries, the future of Japan’s pork market will be strongly influenced by its border policies outlined in these agreements,” the report concluded.