June 04,2003

Baucus Comments on U.S.- Chile Free Trade Agreement Progress

Chile Grants Recognition of U.S. Meat Inspection and Standards, Positive Step for American Ranchers

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senator Max Baucus today noted progress in talks between U.S. andChilean negotiators to establish reciprocal recognition of meat inspection and grading standards. Newsof Chile’s publication of a final decree regarding U.S. beef, lamb, and pork comes just two days beforesigning of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement on Friday.

“I'm pleased to hear that Chile has signed and published a final decree granting immediateaccess to U.S. processed beef, lamb, and pork products from federally certified U.S. plants, and alsothat Chile will recognize U.S. grades of beef,” Baucus said. “This reflects significant progress towardfinalizing a successful agreement that benefits America’s ranchers look forward to similar progress onpoultry standards."

The Senate Finance Committee plans to hold a hearing this month on the U.S.-Chile Free TradeAgreement, as well as the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. On May 22, Senator Baucus andFinance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) sent a joint letter to U.S. Trade RepresentativeRobert Zoellick urging him to resolve the remaining differences over sanitary and phytosanitarystandards that have served as impediments to the export of U.S. agriculture products to Chile.