USTR - Portman Welcomes Move by Japan to Reopen Its Market to US Beef
                 
The Office of the United States Trade Representative

Portman Welcomes Move by Japan to Reopen Its Market to US Beef
12/12/2005


HONG KONG - Today USTR Rob Portman issued the following statement on action by the Japanese to reopen their market to U.S. beef.

"This is a great day for Japanese consumers and also, of course, for American farmers and ranchers.  It's a great day because, under the leadership of Secretary Johanns, we now see an opening in the Japanese market for U.S. beef.

"We've worked on this diligently over the last couple of years. Secretary Johanns has lead the effort.  We've provided all the necessary data and assurances to the Japanese government and its citizens to ensure that they know that our U.S. beef is safe.

"We look forward to continuing these efforts to fully open the Japanese market to U.S. beef and beef products, consistent with international health standards.  This has been an effort by the entire Bush Administration with a number of agencies being involved.  We've made this a critical priority, and today is a result of those concerted efforts.

"We must say that the international standards of the World Organization for Animal Health need to be complied with, not just by Japan, but by our other trading partners, as well.  These international standards recognize that beef can be traded safely; countries have obligations under the World Trade Organization to base their animal and human health measures on these internationally accepted and scientific standards.

"There are now 70 countries open to U.S. beef.  I encourage other trading partners to move forward expeditiously and normalize trade in beef."