Canada expands beef access to Japan, providing a boost for middle class farming families

News release

May 21, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Global Affairs Canada

Maintaining and expanding market access for Canada’s high-quality agricultural products means greater export opportunities, the creation of good, middle-class jobs, and more money in the pockets of Canadian farmers.

Building on a successful G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting and trade visit to Japan, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, announced that the Government of Canada has secured expanded market access for beef from cattle older than thirty months of age to Japan, the world’s third-largest economy. 

Japan is an important market for Canadian beef, with exports to Japan totalling almost $215 million in 2018. Based on industry estimates, the expanded access announced today has the potential to further increase exports by up to 20 per cent, contributing to the government’s goal of $75 billion in annual global agri-food exports by 2025. 

This success is due in part to Canada’s competitive advantage in the region, thanks to a recent trade deal with Asia-Pacific countries. Expanded market access for beef provided by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) creates further opportunities for Canadian beef exports to Japan. In the first three months CPTPP was in force, Canadian agri-food, fish and seafood exports to CPTPP countries increased 3.6 per cent over the same period in 2018, with Canadian beef exports to Japan increasing by more than 117 per cent.

Canada is committed to providing the safest, highest-quality products to the global marketplace. In early June, Minister Carr will lead a trade mission to Japan and South Korea to promote Canadian exports, including agricultural goods. This mission will build on Canada’s ongoing efforts to maintain market access and to diversify destinations and consumers for Canadian products.


"I was pleased to advocate for and represent our hardworking farmers and processors in Japan last week. Increasing and diversifying trade in Asia's dynamic markets is an important part of our government's overall trade strategy. Our Government is committed to creating good middle-class jobs by helping our farmers and processors compete and succeed in markets at home and around the world."  

- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food 

"Increasing access to new and existing markets for Canadian products is at the heart of Canada's Trade Diversification Strategy. That's why we are working relentlessly to create the best conditions for our Canadian producers and exporters, including securing agreements like our new deal with Asia and Pacific countries, so they can benefit from privileged access and remain competitive around the world."  

- Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification

Quick facts

  • Japan is Canada's third-largest trade partner in agriculture and food.

  • Canada's exports of agriculture, agri-food and seafood products to Japan have increased by 5% in the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

  • Canadian beef exports to Japan have increased over 117% in the first three months of 2019, compared to the same period last year.

  • Under CPTPP, Japan's 38.5% tariffs on beef imports has already been reduced to 26.5%, and will be further reduced to 9% over 14 years. This has provided Canadian exporters with a clear tariff advantage over our key competitors.

Associated links


Justine Lesage
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
613-404-1168 (mobile)

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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