Japan to propose changes to beef import safeguards in talks with U.S.

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Japan will propose changes to its safeguard mechanism on frozen U.S. beef imports that will shorten review periods and allow importers to voluntarily lower import volumes to prevent tariffs from automatically kicking in, two government sources said on Thursday.

The proposal will be made at the second round of the U.S.-Japan economic dialogue in Washington on Oct. 16, but it is uncertain if the U.S. side will go along, said the two sources, who have direct knowledge of the matter.

If successful, the proposal could help ward off trade friction with the United States, which is renegotiating free trade agreements with other countries to protect jobs and lower its trade deficit.

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