Thirty-one United States Senators sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Japan and the Ambassador of Korea urging them to resume trade in U.S. beef. The letter urged Japan to resume trade prior to the Prime Minister Koizumi’s visit in June. The senators signed a similar letter requesting the Republic of Korea to reopen their market prior to negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with the United States.
The letter to the Prime Minister outlines that ”despite overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the safety of American beef and an agreement between the United States and the Government of Japan, the embargo on beef from the United States still exists.”
Similarly, the letter to the Ambassador of Korea provides “many American cattle and beef groups have emphasized the importance of regaining full access to the Korean market as part of any free trade agreement. We believe that it would be essentially impossible to garner the necessary support for a free trade agreement with Korea if it does not include access for all beef and beef products, including bone-in and offals.”
Prior to the embargoes, Japan and Korea were the number one and three international markets for American beef and beef products, respectively. With the exception of temporary trade with Japan earlier this year, these markets have been closed for more than 29 months.
Source: AMI - American Meat Institute