JAPANESE EASING OF BEEF IMPORT RESTRICTIONS APPLAUDED

Posted 1 year ago

By John Axtell

beef cattle       The U-S beef industry and political leaders are applauding Japan’s decision to ease restrictions on U.S. beef imports, saying it will be a boost to the American meat industry.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President J.D. Alexander says it should improve profits for the industry, although he’s not sure of the short-term impact since supplies of beef have been shrinking because of the drought.

Producers hope to restore Japanese sales to where they were before the restrictions imposed after the the first case of mad cow disease was found in the United States in 2003, but the tight supplies may limit how much exports can grow this year.

There are also concerns that Japan again allowing  imports of beef from cattle up to 30-months-old will lead to higher demand overall and higher beef prices for U-S consumers, but the North American Meat Association says the effect on prices is likely to be limited because many popular cuts of meat in Japan aren’t popular here.

.      The Japanese decision drew strong praise from beef state lawmakers. 3rd District Congressman Adrian Smith says it will expand export opportunities for Nebraska beef producers, and calls it “a step in the right direction to bring down long-standing barriers to U.S. beef.”

Senator Mike Johanns says it’s great news for Nebraska’s economy and cattle producers, and that while he’d prefer that all U-S trading partners fully align their policies to meet international standards, this is a significant step in the right direction…strengthening the trade relationship between the U-S and Japan.