Pointing out the urgency of restoring full beef trade throughout the world, AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle sent a letter today urging the South Korean government (SKG) to make the full resumption of beef trade with the U.S. their “highest economic priority.” “South Korea’s continuance of an embargo on U.S. beef is causing significant economic damage to U.S. cattle producers and beef processors and threatens to cause permanent losses to many of our companies,” noted Boyle in a letter to South Korean Ambassador Lee Tae Sik. “The U.S. cattle and beef industries are losing millions of dollars each month that South Korea remains closed to U.S. beef,” he notes.
Boyle also urged the government of
Korea to adopt the Organization International
d’Epizootics (OIE) guidelines, which state
that nations that have “appropriate
mitigation measures” in place – like the
United States – should be eligible to fully
trade in beef.
Before banning U.S.
beef imports in December 2003 following a case
of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, South
Korea was the third-largest market for
exporting U.S. beef products, according to the
U.S. Meat Export Federation. In 2002, the
country imported 213,000 tons of U.S. beef
worth $610 million.
Boyle reminded the
SKG that “in the two years since a single
case of BSE was diagnosed in the U.S., USDA has
implemented new , scientifically sound BSE
controls and substantially expanded its BSE
surveillance program. These new actions
complement other BSE control measures dating
back to 1989." These firewalls, he notes, in
addition to the removal of specified risk
materials from the human food supply, ensure
the safety of the U.S. beef supply.
“AMI and its member companies have
been strong advocates of free trade and have
supported all Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) that
the U.S. G overnment has negotiated and
implemented with other nations. Our support of
a FTA with South Korea is dependent upon South
Korea abiding by international science based
standards, which support full reopening of its
market to U.S. beef,” Boyle
AMI Urges South Korea to Make Restoration of Full Beef Trade with U.S. "Highest Economic Priority"Wednesday, January 4, 2006
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Sr. Vice President, Public Affairs