**The U.S. appears ready to reclaim its share of the red meat market in Japan.

U.S. Meat Export Federation vice president, Jesse Austin says the outlook is very optimistic under the new U.S.-Japan trade agreement.

He says closing the tariff gap allows discussions with existing and prospective customers to focus on the quality and consistency of U.S. red meat.

The agreement went into effect January 1st, and a second round of tariff reductions takes place April 1st.

**National Beef, the fourth largest U.S. beef processor, is now about 80% owned by a foreign company, causing worry in the cattle industry.

Investigatemidwest.org reports, in November, Brazilian meatpacker Marfrig Global announced it would acquire 31% of National Beef from New York-based investment bank Jefferies Financial for $970-million, after the initial purchase of around half the company a year earlier.

U.S. Cattlemen’s Association asked Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and the Committee on Foreign Investment for a review of the purchase.

**The Senate Finance Committee approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, which once implemented will provide much-needed certainty to U.S. pork producers.

National Pork Producers Council President David Herring says USMCA will allow U.S. pork to maintain long-term, zero-duty market access to two of our largest export markets.

In 2018, Canada and Mexico took over 40% of the pork exported from the U.S. and a similar percentage is expected in 2019.

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