Beef trade with Japan moves forward

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. and Japan have agreed on two steps to expand U.S. beef trade with Japan.

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns has approved Japan’s request to conduct additional audits of U.S. beef processing plants. Mr. Johanns said he welcomes Japan to begin the audits as soon as arrangements can be made. In return, once the verification process is finished, Japan will discontinue its requirement to inspect all boxes of beef shipped from the U.S.

"I have talked with my Japanese counterpart, Minister Matsuoka, in recent days to exchange views on resolving the beef trade issue," Mr. Johanns said. "I appreciate the open lines of communication between us, and I look forward to working through the audits and transitioning to more reasonable inspection standards for U.S. beef in Japan."

Mr. Johanns also said the U.S. expects all its trading partners to implement import requirements for U.S. beef and beef products based on science and international guidelines.

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