January 20,2006

Grassley Urges Japan Not to Shut Out U.S. Beef Again


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Potential re-closing of Japan to U.S. beef
Da: Friday, Jan. 20, 2006

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, with jurisdiction over
international trade, today made the following comment on reports that Japan will again shut its
market to imports of U.S. beef.

“This is very disappointing. I don’t have complete information, but it appears that part of a
backbone might have been contained in a shipment to Japan, yet our beef export agreement with
Japan says that backbones can’t be shipped there.

“USDA is working with Japanese officials to try to figure out the situation. In addition,
USDA has announced that it’s ramping up inspections of U.S. beef shipments to Japan to ensure that
they comply with the beef export agreement. With these new inspection measures, I hope Japan will
agree not to close its market yet again. Both countries have worked hard to reach an agreement, and
U.S. producers, including those in Iowa, have taken and will continue to take the necessary steps to
offer a quality, safe product. We use a lot of common sense when we take products from Japan.
Japan ought to give U.S. producers the same common sense approach we give them. I urge the
Japanese not to overreact to this situation. U.S. beef is safe. Millions and millions of Americans eat
it every day.”