NCBA Statement on Korea's acceptance of beef shipments
WASHINGTON - “America’s cattlemen are proud that our high-quality beef is being made available to consumers in the South Korean marketplace once again. NCBA would like to take this opportunity to thank the U.S. government officials, particularly those at USDA and USTR, for their hundreds and hundreds of hours of effort to prove the safety and quality of our beef to Korea over the past three years, four months and four days.
“While we are pleased to see more sensible inspection protocols in place in South Korea, there is still more work to be done to rebuild the trading relationship between our two countries. With at least $815 million in beef sales at stake and a free trade agreement pending, further positive steps need to be taken.
“We have said all along that the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) support of the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement was contingent upon commercially viable beef trade occurring based on internationally recognized guidelines established by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
“The OIE is expected to vote on May 20 to establish the BSE risk status for the United States as ‘controlled risk.’ A controlled risk classification will help Korea to further recognize that science-based mitigation measures are in place to effectively manage any possible risk of BSE in the U.S. cattle population. This should pave the way for trade in all U.S. beef and beef products, provided specified risk materials (SRMs) are removed. When this occurs, it will lead to our support of the U.S.-Korean FTA.
“U.S. beef and beef products are the safest in the world. America’s cattle producers deserve access to the South Korean marketplace, and Korean consumers should have access to the same delicious U.S. beef they enjoyed prior to December 2003.”