Idaho Examiner - Sen. Larry Craig News Releases

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Craig, Grassley, Baucus, among others, meet with Japanese Ambassador

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Idaho Senator Larry Craig, along with several of his colleagues, met with the Japanese Ambassador today to discuss reopening Japan to U.S. beef exports.

Before the discovery of a Canadian calf in the United States that was infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly referred to as mad cow disease, Japan was a major component of our beef exports. Shortly after the calf was discovered, Japan banned U.S. beef imports.

Today’s meeting included Craig, Conrad Burns, R-Mont., Gordon Smith, R-Ore., Thomas, R-Wyo., and Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. Also attending were Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Max Baucus, D-Mont., the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade issues. Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Committee, along with other Senators, met with the Japanese Ambassador on Friday. In addition, the President, Vice-President, and Secretary of State have all openly pressured Japan to reopen the Japanese market.

During Senate debate two weeks ago Craig said, “When Canada sneezed and we got the cold, our trading partners backed away. In backing away, we lost a billion-dollar Japanese market.”

After the meeting Craig stated, “Today I stressed to the Japanese Ambassador the importance to Idaho’s economy of reopening this market. Our beef is safe, and the U.S. has bent over backwards to consider the requests of the Japanese government. If beef trade does not resume soon, we will be forced to consider appropriate actions.”

Craig joined 19 of his colleagues in a February 18, 2005, letter to the Japanese Ambassador expressing their concern over the continued closure of the market. For a copy of the letter, please visit Senator Craig's website.


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