Idaho Examiner - Sen. Larry Craig News Releases

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Closed market costs beef producers $3.14 billion per year

WASHINGTON, D.C – Idaho Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo are co-sponsors of legislation introduced today that encourages Japan to reopen its borders to U.S. beef. When a Canadian-born cow being held near Yakima, Washington, tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or “mad cow disease” in 2003, the Japanese government immediately banned beef from the United States. Although the Japanese and U.S. governments reached an agreement to reopen Japanese markets, little action has been taken to lift the ban.
“Before the ban, Japan was the largest foreign market for U.S. beef producers,” Craig said. “Although USDA has adopted tougher testing methods and the U.S. herd has a clean bill of health, the Japanese have dragged their feet in reopening their markets. Idaho producers are suffering as a result, and this needs to stop.”

“It is well past time for Japan to reopen its market to American beef,” said Crapo. “I am disappointed in Japan’s continued political delays that are affecting our beef industry and farm economy.”

The bill, introduced by Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Pat Roberts (R-KS), would require the President to impose tariffs on Japanese products if Japan does not open its domestic markets to U.S.-produced beef by the end of the year. Currently, American beef producers are losing $3.14 billion a year because of Japan’s refusal to reopen its markets.


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