First steps to expand U.S. beef trade with Japan

by Editor
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

USDA Secretary Mike Johanns has approved Japan's request to conduct additional audits of U.S. beef processing plants.

This agreement between Japan and the United States he characterised as an important first step in efforts to expand U.S. beef trade in Japanese markets.

Japan has been invited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to begin the audits as soon as arrangements can be made. This is part of Japan's verification that the U.S. process will provide them with safe beef products.

Johanns indicated that once the verification process is complete, Japan will discontinue its requirement of inspecting all beef shipped from U.S. processing plants.

According to Johanns this is a result of an exchange of views on resolving the beef trade issue between USDA and the Japanese counterpart officials.

He explicitly appreciated the open lines of communication between both countries and looks forward to working through the audits and transitioning to more reasonable inspection standards for U.S. beef in Japan.