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Japanese Tariffs Could Hurt Mountain West Ranchers And Farmers

Japan is considering hitting back against the U.S. in retaliation for America's steel and aluminum tariffs. A Japanese levy could hurt our region's agricultural industry.

In 2016, the U.S. exported $11 billion worth of products like beef, pork, and corn to Japan, making it our fourth largest agricultural export market. Jim Magagna is with the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

"We'd just gotten back into those markets in recent years," said Magagna. "We were out of the Japanese market for a number of years as a result of the BSE, or commonly referred to Mad Cow Disease."

Since then, he said it's been a fast-growing market. But if Japan introduces a new tariff, Magagna said states like Wyoming and Montana could really be hurt.

"It's a very unsettling time for those of us that are dependent on a export markets," said Magagna.

According to Japan's state broadcaster , its government is preparing to inform the World Trade Organization but says nothing has been decided yet.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

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