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Japan- Tougher Stance on US Beef

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Oldtimer

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How many years has it been now since Creekstone and other small packers was denied to BSE test all for this market by the USDA-- and we were told by the Big Corporate Packerbacker NCBA that supported that ruling, that the Japanese would be crawling all over us for the product again.... :???:

6 (SIX) years- and we're back up to 1/5th the old market :???:

So- tell me again how great the idea to not let Creekstone and others test was...

Reuters
Japan's new leaders seen tougher on U.S. beef
09.01.09, 01:32 PM EDT


By Bob Burgdorfer

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Japan's new leadership may be less agreeable to expanding imports of U.S. beef, which fell dramatically after mad cow was reported in the U.S. nearly six years ago, than the previous administration, U.S. meat industry sources said Tuesday.

Japan was once the top export market for U.S. beef but that business dropped sharply after December 2003, when the United States reported its first case of mad cow disease. Now Japan buys about a fifth of its pre-mad cow total but the U.S. meat industry has been working to recover more of that lost business.

The newly elected Democratic Party in Japan may be less agreeable to that effort than previous leaders, U.S. sources said.

"There is certainly a concern that there are hard-line elements in the new ruling party that will be resistant to expanded beef access. How that translates into policy remains to be seen," Joe Schuele, spokesman for the U.S. Meat Export Federation, told Reuters on Tuesday.

The USMEF works to develop overseas markets for U.S. meat.

Japan's new leader Yukio Hatoyama has said he wants a more independent stance with relation to the United States, which investors in Tokyo fear could strain in dealings with Washington.

Japan accepts U.S. beef from cattle 20 months old or younger, but the U.S. beef industry has been trying to bump that to 30 months, which would restore much of the business that was lost.

"I think it is safe to say that the situation surrounding that issue may be more fragile now, but we are not resigned to the idea that it will be more difficult," Schuele said. "We just think that it is a different political climate that might call for a different approach. We are still very hopeful that we can make progress on it."

In 2003, Japan accounted for about 30 percent of U.S. beef exports by volume, but in 2008 took less than 8 percent.

"They are likely to be a bit more protectionist, which I think is going to be more of a problem than an opportunity for us," John Urbanchuk, food economist at the expert services firm LECG ( XPRT - news - people ), said of Japan. "I suspect that this will probably make it more difficult for the beef industry." (Editing by Christian Wiessner)
 

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