U.S. urges Japan to eliminate import restrictions on U.S. beef


The United States has urged Japan to eliminate import restrictions on U.S. beef aimed at preventing the spread of mad cow disease, in the latest push from Washington to open up the Japanese market to U.S. farm imports, bilateral diplomatic sources said.

The United States has called for scrapping Japan's current restriction allowing only U.S. beef from cattle aged 30 months or younger on the grounds that the country has been internationally recognized as having the lowest risk for the disease formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the sources said.

Following the confirmation of the first known case of the disease in the United States in 2003, Japan banned U.S. beef imports. Imports resumed in 2005 by limiting them to beef from cows 20 months old or younger, and Tokyo eased the regulation in 2013, raising the cattle age limit to 30 months or younger.

The two sides are set to hold a working-level economic meeting later this month in Tokyo, with issues related to Washington's market access to the Japanese farm sector, including over beef, set to be the main agenda item, the sources said.

In trade talks, Japan, on the other hand, has called on the United States to ease import restrictions on Japanese farm products introduced in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The U.S. request on beef imports comes after the administration of President Donald Trump protested at Japan's imposition in August last year of the so-called safeguard tariffs in response to a surge in U.S. beef imports in the April to June quarter.

The measure, raising the tariff rate on beef from the United States, Canada and New Zealand to 50 percent from 38.5 percent for the period from Aug. 1 to March 31, came in line with World Trade Organization rules.

In the bilateral economic meeting, officials of the U.S. Trade Representative, State Department, Commerce Department and Agriculture Department are set to discuss bilateral trade issues and international trade rules with the Japanese side, the sources said.

In the second round of the high-level economic dialogue in Washington last October, Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who lead the framework, said they "would intensify work to achieve further progress in the near term on bilateral trade issues."

The Trump administration hopes to eventually develop the high-level economic dialogue framework to a stage to negotiate a free trade agreement with Japan, the sources said.

Pence is set to visit Japan on Feb. 6 before taking part in the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea on Feb. 9. During his stay, Pence could hold talks with Aso on bilateral trade issues based on the results of the upcoming economic meeting, the sources said.


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Please from non-hormone-treated cattle, there is clear evidence of inadequate control of growth hormones in U.S. beef imports.

That's beef, pumped up with synthetic hormones. 

I really don't want my steak, admittedly flavoursome and correctly seasoned retorting untimely  I'll be back..... At least before its lamented the cutlery.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

US used to be cowboy country. Australian beef taste better in Teriyaki, sukiyaki and gyunabe. Easy to chew.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Mmm american hormonized beef. They are so good to spread their unhealty way of life around the world.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

US beef used to be the best in the world.

Unfortunately that hasn't been the case for many years.

The USDA has gone from an agency whose mission was to protect citizens through strict regulation of the meat industry to one whose purpose is to serve the industry it "regulates".

I'll take JP or AUS beef over US any day.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan's food independency rate is dangerously too low.  I don't like US, military occupant, to force their produce on Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I agree about hormone and all that mess, hate it, and we don't buy it in meat or anything else. Try our best to buy local from farms that grow organic, like my great grandpa ate. Old fashioned food, that's the ticket.

The farm import/export business is very complicated. I do know this: Toyoma Ken rice is the best!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mmm american hormonized beef. They are so good to spread their unhealty way of life around the world.

I’m a huge beef connoisseur and that kind of comment tells me you know nothing about our beef industry.


We have many, many choices and nowadays, most prefer organic beef, so these days people care a lot about what they put in their bodies. So stereotyping that all US beef is hormonally injected with all kinds of junk really should take a second look. Remember, in the US, we do have a lot of choices as well as farmers selling their meat worldwide to their customers. And our organic beef is some of the tastiest.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

you know nothing about our beef industry.

Well, anyone should know that TPP was supposed to virtually eliminate beef import restrictions. Blame it on Trump.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Here’s a fun fact about the US “USDA Inspection” program for beef.

The “inspector” is employed by the meat packing company. It is not an independent government inspector looking out for the public good when inspecting the cleanliness or process or quality of the food.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hormonized beef shouldn't be a problem - if ya don't want it, just don't buy it, problem solved

What's the issue here?

That people will actually like hormonized beef?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Raising beef using hormone implants is significantly more sustainable. Hormones occur naturally in all animals and plants. The limits allowed in beef are far, far below anything that could possibly raise any health concerns.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

You must be joking -- American beef?? Do you not know how poisonous it is?? The cows are PUMPED full of growth hormones, and do you know what is in their feed?? RESIST! Keep it OUT of your country, whoever you are! Toxic

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Open the market, but I would still like to keep the 30 month rule otherwise Japan might be getting 8 year old milk cows.

You must be joking -- American beef?? Do you not know how poisonous it is?? The cows are PUMPED full of growth hormones, and do you know what is in their feed?? RESIST! Keep it OUT of your country, whoever you are! Toxic

My pops is 85 and has been eating US beef all his life. Unless you plan on living to 109, where's the beef?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Don't do it! Japanese health is already being compromised enough with chicken. Time for Japan to reduce meat consumption not increase it

0 ( +1 / -1 )

People still prefer seafood. Beef eating culture began Meiji Ishin. So, places near sea still love variety of shrimps rather than beef. Crab, crams and, oysters, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But old cowboy video series are shown along with bbeef ads, people may find fiillet minon taste better than what meat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In USA, some beef sellers do home delivery. Omaha beef deliver home.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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