Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the United States and Japan have agreed on new terms and conditions that eliminate Japan’s longstanding restrictions on U.S. beef exports. That paves the way for expanded sales to the United States’ top global beef market. Last week, Perdue met on the sidelines of the G-20 Agricultural Ministerial Meeting in Japan with government officials. Everyone in attendance affirmed the importance of science-based trade rules. The new terms take effect immediately, allowing U.S. products from all cattle, regardless of age, to enter Japan for the first time since 2003. The U.S. Meat Export Federation is pleased with the news, saying, “This is a major step toward putting BSE in the rearview mirror.”
USDA estimates that this expanded access could increase U.S. beef and beef product exports to Japan by up to $200 million annually. It’s also an important step in normalizing trade relations with Japan. It was back in 2003 that Japan banned U.S. beef and beef products following the detection of an animal with mad cow disease in the United States.