Tariffs could make beef at the grocery store less expensive, says Kansas State ag professor

KMBZ News Staff
August 22, 2019 - 5:18 am

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Have you noticed beef getting a little cheaper at the grocery store? That's because there's more of it available on the domestic market, due in part to the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China.

Glenn Tonsor, Ag Economics Professor at Kansas State University, says there are fewer U.S. beef exports right now, and that means more meat on your local market's shelves. 

"What I think is important is to recognize that we produce a lot of ag commodities in the U.S.," Tonsor said. "Including beef, and some of that is imported, and some of it is exported."

Tariffs are higher for the U.S. in part due to the ongoing trade war. Tonsor explains that other countries, like Australia, have lower base rate tariffs for many import markets, such as Japan, because they are both signed up to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive free trade deal negotiated in the Obama era, which the U.S. did not become a party to. 

"If you are an exporter like we are here, we export a lot of beef out of the U.S., particularly here in Kansas," Tonsor explained. "And Missouri feeds into the beef production system for sure, and we are facing higher tariffs in Japan than a big competitor like Australia."

As long as exports stay lower, more beef will be available on the U.S. market, which means that consumers may pay a little less for their Friday night steaks at the store. 

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