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Beef Buzz News

NCBA's Kent Bacus says the Loss of Prime Minister Abe is a Great Loss for the World

Mon, 11 Jul 2022 12:15:02 CDT

NCBA's Kent Bacus says the Loss of Prime Minister Abe is a Great Loss for the World Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is talking with the Senior Director for International Trade and Market Access for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Kent Bacus, as Bacus reacts to the death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.

Bacus said the willingness of Prime Minister Abe to open up trade in Japan with other countries including the United States was valuable to the U.S. beef cattle industry.
"The loss of Prime Minister Abe is a great loss for the world," Bacus said, "He was a good leader. Someone who not only cared deeply about people in Japan but really tried to bring Japan into a bigger leadership role to help steer the global economy in a positive direction."

Going back several years, Bacus said it was a pleasure working with Abe's staff on trying to expand trade between the United States and Japan.

"Japan is a big market for us, but it has always been a tough market for us," Bacus said. "Prior to Prime Minister Abe coming into power, it was a very protectionist market. He was really the one that spearheaded trade liberalization and really pivoted Japan from being that protectionist society and growing their economy through trade."

Focusing on U.S. beef, Japan was a tremendous partner with cattle producers when the U.S. was finally able to open the market up after our first Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy case.

"I don't think that that is something any of us ever want to see again, but really, there was a lot of dedication from our industry and their government to keep those conversations going," Bacus said. "We were able to get the market restored, but we were limited to 21 months for many years. It wasn't until Japan wanted to join the trans-pacific partnership that they ultimately lifted that restriction from 21 months to 30 months and then we saw our sales increase significantly. Not too long after that, they removed that BSE restriction altogether."

Now, Japan is the second-largest export market for the U.S, Bacus said, and they compete for that top spot on a regular basis.

"We have great relationships there," Bacus said. "We have a growing market in Japan, and part of that is just due to the dedication of the people in our industry, but also by having visionary leaders in both countries who saw the importance of supplying U.S. beef and other U.S. agricultural commodities to Japanese consumers. Likewise, opening a market here in the United States for Japan's goods."

Bacus said the death of former Prime Minister Abe is a sad day for the world and a sad day for those of us in agriculture who had the pleasure of seeing the benefits of positive leadership that were taken away too soon.

"I take it as a challenge for us to continue to strive for better relationships with our trade partners, to use trade as a vehicle for a chance to change things in a positive way, and to strengthen relationships with our allies," Bacus said. "I know at NCBA that one of the things we will continue to try to do is to continue that legacy and to provide more opportunities for U.S. cattle producers."

Click the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and Kent Bacus as they reflect on the death of former Prime Minister Abe of Japan.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



Listen to Ron Hays and Kent Bacus on the Death of Prime Minister Abe
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