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Date: 6/22/2006

Title: Statement on Senate Action Regarding Beef Trade

WASHINGTON - “We applaud today’s actions by the Senate Appropriations Committee and its overwhelming support for America’s cattlemen and for the resumption of beef trade with Japan. 

“This Sense of the Senate statement, attached to the Fiscal Year 2007 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, calls for sanctions on Japanese products if Japan has not resumed imports of U.S. beef by the enactment of this bill. 

“With the support of Senators Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Larry Craig (R-Idaho), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Christopher Bond (R-Mo.) and Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), the measure passed the committee unanimously by voice vote. 

“Yesterday, the Governments of Japan and the United States announced that an agreement had been reached to facilitate the resumption of trade of U.S. beef to Japan.  This agreement, however, fails to identify a specific time frame and offers few details regarding the process for resuming trade.  To those of us engaged in this process for over two years, this agreement looks like nothing more than a call for more hoop-jumping.

“Our cattlemen have paid a tremendous price for the continued delays by Japanese officials to resume beef trade based on scientifically-recognized principles.  Each day the Japanese market remains closed, the U.S. beef industry feels a negative economic impact equal to $6.7 million.

“On June 14, the NCBA Executive Committee voted to support Congressional action if Japan fails to resume beef trade expeditiously.  In addition to applauding today’s action, we are urging support for S. 3548, introduced June 21 by Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), calling for tariffs on Japanese exports if Japan does not open its borders to U.S. beef by August 31, 2006.”



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