Monday, April 21, 2008

Farm Bureau Welcomes Korean Beef Trade

WASHINGTON--The American Farm Bureau Federation today said it welcomed the announcement that Korea will fully open its market to U.S. beef consistent with World Animal Health Organization (OIE) standards.

“This agreement with Korea has been a long time coming,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “Farm Bureau has been steadfast in its support for fully reopening foreign markets for U.S. beef in compliance with OIE standards. It is important that all ranchers are able to ship their beef based on sound and predictable rules.”

Korea was one of U.S. beef’s top export markets before being closed to the United States in 2003 due to a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Beef exports to Korea prior to the market closure were valued at more than $772 million.

“It is now time for other countries that have continuing restrictions against U.S.-produced beef to act in conformity with the OIE standards,” noted Stallman.

Further said Stallman, “Now that this obstacle with Korea has been overcome, AFBF urges swift congressional passage of the Korea free trade agreement.”

AFBF estimates the FTA will increase U.S. agricultural exports to Korea by $1.5 billion per year after full implementation.

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