March 14,2005

Grassley Urges Japanese Ambassador to Help Resolve Beef Dispute


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Meeting with Japanese Ambassador on U.S. beef
Da: Monday, March 14, 2005

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Finance Committee, today met with the Ambassador of Japan to the United States, Ryozo Kato, to discuss Japan’s continued ban on imports of U.S. beef. Grassley co-hosted the meeting with Sen. Max Baucus, ranking member of the Finance Committee. In addition to Grassley and Baucus, five other senators – Sens. Conrad Burns, Jeff Bingaman, LarryCraig, Gordon Smith, and Craig Thomas attended the meeting. Grassley made the followingcomment after the meeting.

“I appreciated the time that Ambassador Kato took to meet with us on this important issue.I arranged this meeting to impress upon the Ambassador the great importance that I, as well as other senators, place upon the reopening of the Japanese market to U.S. beef. I told the Ambassador that it’s essential that Japan remove this trade irritant between our countries in a science-based and timely way. As members of the World Trade Organization, both the United States and Japan agreed that issues of food safety must be based on sound science. Now, I appreciate that the Japanese government needs to ensure that U.S. beef is safe. But the amount of time Japan is taking to makethis determination raises questions about whether Japan is concerned about safety or protecting itsbeef industry. Regardless, the Ambassador was courteous and tried to answer our questions. I cameaway with the good feeling that he’ll immediately convey our concerns to Tokyo. I’m going tocontinue to push to keep this issue on the front burner until it’s resolved, and Japanese consumerscan enjoy American beef if they want.”