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Statement

Release No. 0165.07
Contact:
USDA Press Office (202) 720-4623

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Statement by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns Regarding Progress in Expanding Beef Trade

June 13, 2007

"Recent developments are demonstrating that our constructive and steady discussions with our trading partners are showing positive results for future U.S. beef exports. I am gratified that progress has been made with three key nations.

"Japan today announced, after its recent audits of U.S. meat plants, that it has eliminated its 100-percent re-inspection of U.S. beef and beef products, and will implement a sampling-based protocol. We are eager to refocus our discussions with Japan on beef trade based on OIE standards.

"Recently, South Korea agreed to resume imports of U.S. boneless beef, and we continue to press them to implement import requirements for U.S. beef and beef products consistent with OIE guidelines on BSE.

"Malaysia today announced that it has agreed to import U.S. beef, consistent with World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines, permitting bone-in beef and variety meats from cattle of all ages. We applaud this decision and look forward to confirming the details with the Malaysian government.

"Science provides us with clear data upon which international trading standards were built. All of our trading partners must be mindful of these guidelines and work toward complying with them. We are pressing for clear, aggressive timelines from our trading partners that demonstrate their commitment to internationally-agreed upon OIE standards."