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AMI Welcomes Appellate Body Finding That Korean Beef Import Proctices Violate International Trade Rules

Tuesday, December 12, 2000

The American Meat Institute (AMI) today welcomed a decision by the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body, which upheld an earlier WTO finding that Korea’s beef import regime discriminates against U.S. beef and violates WTO rules.

The finding means greater market access for U.S. beef when Korea’s beef quota expires December 31, 2000. Korea is the third largest U.S. beef export market and stands to grow significantly in the wake of this ruling.

AMI had urged the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to pursue the case because Korean restrictions on beef imports, sales, and distribution, as well as price mark-ups on imported beef, have impeded Korean imports of U.S. beef and appeared to be illegal under WTO rules.

“The Appellate Body’s findings are a vote for free and fair trade,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle. “We have long believed that Korea’s discriminatory retail marketing system and price markups on imported beef violate Korea's obligations under the WTO. We commend the USTR’s aggressive pursuit of the case. The final resolution will mean greater access to one of the U.S. beef industry’s most important markets.”

On February 1, 1999, the U.S. requested consultations with the Republic of Korea under WTO dispute settlement provisions. This request was prompted by the Korean government's failure to address in bilateral negotiations any of the concerns raised by U.S. negotiators about the impact of Korea's trade policies on U.S. beef exports to Korea. As a result of Korea’s intransigence, AMI and several U.S. beef industry organizations urged that USTR request the formation of a WTO dispute settlement panel.

In July, a WTO Dispute Resolution Panel ruled in favor of the U.S., but Korea appealed the decision.

“Korea enjoys both the privileges and responsibilities of WTO membership. We now have a fair and definitive ruling and it is time for Korea to move swiftly to comply with its WTO obligations,” said Boyle.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory and public relations services, conducts scientific and economic research, offers marketing and technical assistance and sponsors education programs.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs
Josee Daoust
Manager, Public Affairs

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