The single largest purchaser of U.S. beef, Japan, announced in July that it would impose a temporary 50% tariff on frozen beef coming from the United States and several other countries. The imposed 50% tariff would be an increase from the current 38.5% tariff on beef imports into the country. Japan accounted for nearly 24% of all U.S. beef exports in 2016. In response, the U.S. agricultural secretary noted that the higher tariff would likely reduce American beef exports in addition to boosting the U.S. trade deficit with Japan.
As discreet as it may seem to many, a tariff increase to 50% from 38.5%, based on 2016 export figures, amounts to a $755 million tax on beef exports to Japan. Such tariffs can stifle demand in Japan and hinder beef producers in the U.S.
The Trump Administration has been quite vocal about foreign trade practices deemed unfair by the United States.
Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation