August 07,2007

Baucus Requests ITC Review of World Beef Market

Some markets still unfairly deny access to perfectly safe U.S. beef, report will detail effects on U.S. beef industry of these unjustified restrictions

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today called on
the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to conduct an exhaustive review detailing the
effects of animal health, sanitary, and food safety measures on beef trade between the U.S. and its trading partners. Baucus is a longstanding champion of American ranchers and U.S. beef exports, and asked for the ITC investigation in light of persistent unfair beef bans maintained by some foreign countries, most notably Korea and Japan.

“American beef is the safest and most delicious in the world. In May of this year, The World Organization for Animal Health confirmed that all U.S. beef and beef products are safe and healthy, regardless of age – further demonstrating that the current restrictions facing U.S. beef in key markets are not based on sound science,” Baucus said. “I have asked the ITC to illustrate the negative economic effects of these unjustified barriers on the U.S. beef trade, and the potential for growth in U.S. beef exports if these unfair barriers are removed. It’s long past time for some nations to take the facts into account and open their markets to U.S. beef.”

The text of the Senator’s letter is below.

August 7, 2007

The Honorable Daniel Pearson
U.S. International Trade Commission
500 E Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20436

Dear Chairman Pearson:

The future sustainability of the U.S. beef industry is highly dependent on access to global
markets. Currently, restrictions on U.S. beef exports related to concerns over bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE), especially by Japan and South Korea, have hurt the domestic industry.
I am writing to request that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) conduct an
investigation under section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1332(g)) regarding the
effects of animal health, sanitary, and food safety measures on beef trade between the United
States and its major trading partners. The report should cover the period 2002-2007, or the period from 2002 to the latest year for which data are available.

To the extent possible, the report should include the following:

  • an overview of the U.S. and global markets for beef, including production, consumption, exports, and imports;
  • information on animal health, sanitary, and food safety measures facing U.S. and other major beef exporters in major destination markets;
  • information on other barriers to U.S. beef exports in major destination markets, including high tariffs, quotas, and import licensing and distribution systems; and,
  • a qualitative and, to the extent possible, quantitative analysis of the economic effects of foreign animal health, sanitary, and food safety measures on U.S. beef exports.

The Commission should provide its completed report no later than ten months from receipt of this request. As we intend to make the report available to the public, we request that it not contain confidential business information.


Max Baucus

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