September 20,2005

Grassley, Baucus urge White House to keep pressure on Japan to accept U.S. beef

WASHINGTON — Sens. Chuck Grassley and Max Baucus are urging President Bush to stay directly involved in efforts to have Japan lift its ban on beef from the United States. Grassley and Baucus, who serve as Chairman and Ranking Member of the SenateCommittee on Finance, delivered their message in a letter sent today. The Finance Committeehas international trade jurisdiction.

The text of the senators’ letter follows here.

September 20, 2005

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

Earlier this year, we wrote to thank you for your direct involvement in encouraging Japanto lift its ban on U.S. beef exports. Unfortunately, little progress has been made since that time.The United States cattle and beef industries are losing hundreds of millions of dollars each monththat the Japanese market remains closed to U.S. beef products. American ranches andmeatpacking jobs have been lost, and many others have been put at risk.

In October of 2004 – ten months after Japan first imposed a ban on U.S. beef inDecember 2003 – the United States and Japan signed a framework agreement to remove the ban.It has been nearly one year since that October 2004 agreement, but beef products from farms andranches in Iowa, Montana, and elsewhere in America appear no closer to appearing on Japanesestore shelves.

The Japanese government, pursuant to the October 2004 agreement, is currently involvedin a process to determine when and how to resume imports of U.S. beef products. We areconcerned, however, that this administrative process is leading to an indefinite delay in theJapanese resuming U.S. beef imports. We urge you to continue pressing the Japanese to concludetheir administrative process and resume U.S. beef imports before this issue becomes an evengreater irritant in U.S.-Japanese trade and economic relations.

Thank you for your efforts on this important issue. We look forward to working with youto resolve this problem.


Charles E. Grassley

Max Baucus
Ranking Member