Japan Beef Market Open to U.S.
December 16, 2005
"I'm very pleased to announce that the Japanese market is now open to U.S. beef products. Resuming beef trade with Japan is great news for American producers and Japanese consumers, as well as an important step toward normalized trade based on scientifically sound, internationally recognized standards,? stated Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns on Monday.
Under the agreement, the United States is able to export beef from cattle 20 months of age and younger to Japan. More than 94 percent of total U.S. ruminant and ruminant products, with a total export value of $1.7 billion in 2003, are now eligible for export to Japan. In 2003, the United States exported $1.4 billion worth of beef and beef products to Japan.
Prior to the December 2003 discovery of the first BSE-infected cow in the United States, the U.S. exported beef and beef products to 119 countries. With the opening of Japan, 67 countries have now established trade to at least selected U.S. beef and beef products.
It is the understanding of the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) that the Japan market is still closed to U.S. lamb. Reminders from ASI to the Department in recent months regarding U.S. lamb has brought assurances that lamb will be part of future talks with Japan. American lamb was exported to Japan prior to the ban primarily for restaurant trade; other countries have been filling the lamb void since.