March 24,2011

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Baucus Calls End to Chile's Unscientific Beef Restrictions Victory for U.S. Ranchers, Economic Growth

Washington, DCSenate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today called the Chilean government’s decision to open its markets to all ages and all cuts of U.S. beef a significant victory for U.S. ranchers and for the American economy.  Increased access to the Chilean market will provide U.S. ranchers with the opportunity to increase exports to the country and build on the $6.2 million that beef exports to Chile generated in 2010.  Baucus, who pressed Chile to lift its unscientific restriction, said today that Chile’s announcement is further indication that the U.S. should insist that its trading partners meet international scientific standards and lift all restrictions on U.S. beef.

“We pressed Chile to open its market to all U.S. beef because our continued economic growth depends on increasing our exports and we can’t allow unscientific barriers to stand in the way,” Baucus said.  “Chile’s announcement is proof that holding our trading partners accountable to international scientific standards can produce results that will help our economy grow.  We need to continue to put pressure on countries including Korea, China and Taiwan that maintain unscientific restrictions on U.S. beef.  Chile’s announcement represents significant progress in opening international markets to U.S. beef and this victory will translate to increased American exports and job creation.”

Baucus has long worked to remove unscientific barriers to U.S. beef in Chile and other countries.  Last fall, Baucus hosted Chile’s Ambassador Arturo Fermandois in Montana, where they toured a cattle ranch and met with agricultural leaders in the state.  Following that visit, Fermandios announced Chile was beginning the regulatory process to remove barriers to U.S. beef.  Chile’s announcement that it has fully reopened its market to all cuts and ages of American beef is the culmination of that process.

Baucus has also worked to increase international market access for U.S. beef products in other countries by holding our trading partners accountable to international scientific standards, which certify that all U.S. beef is 100 percent safe.  Baucus recently called for Korea to provide a roadmap to full market access before Congress passes the pending Free Trade Agreement with Korea.  He has pushed Taiwan and China to end their unscientific barriers as well.

Chile now joins more than 60 other trading partners that allow full market access to U.S. beef.  Prior to today’s announcement, Chile only allowed imports of boneless cuts from cattle less than 30 months of age.