In a bid to protect its own farmers, Japan is set to increase import taxes on frozen beef from the US and other countries to 50%.
Currently the levy stands at 38.5%, and this will remain for countries with economic partnership agreements, including Australia, Mexico and Chile.
The news is a blow to Donald Trump’s efforts to boost trade between the US and Japan, although it is widely acknowledge that the US President is intent on imposing similar tariffs on foreign goods being exported to America.
Japan is the USA’s most important Asian beef export market, although recent news that China has lifted import bans could see a shift in this pattern.
In April to June of this year, Japan's first fiscal quarter, frozen beef imports from all nations totalled 89,253 tonnes, representing a 17.1% on the same period a year ago. US exports went up by 32 percent.
US sales of frozen beef to Japan last year totalled $418mn, which is nearly a fifth of all sales of the product.