June 17, 2010

A bipartisan resolution calling on China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico and Vietnam to follow international guidelines and provide full market access to all U.S. beef products has passed the U. S. Senate.

The bipartisan resolution was introduced by Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Max Baucus (D-MT), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Ben Nelson (R-NE).

In 2003, prior to the discovery of BSE in the U.S., U.S. beef exports to the countries named in the resolution were valued at more than $3 billion. It has recovered significantly but full-market access has been slow in coming, despite the fact U.S. beef has since been certified safe by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the internationally recognized standard-setting body for animal food products. In addition, a 2006 study by USDA found BSE to be virtually nonexistent in the U.S.

“U.S. beef has been proven safe, producers are ready and eager to export their products, and these countries should act now to open their markets,” Klobuchar says. Klobuchar is a member of the Senate Agriculture, Forestry, and Nutrition Committee, and chairs the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion.