Legislation has been introduced to support increased market access for exports of U.S. beef and beef products to Japan. Currently, Japan restricts access to a large number of U.S. beef products. Introduced by Representatives Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., House Resolution 1196 states that Japan should immediately expand market access for U.S. beef products, and urges the Obama Administration to insist on increased market access from Japan. Senator Mike Johanns, R-Neb., has introduced similar legislation in the U.S. Senate.
Steve Fogelsong, President of the National Cattleman's Beef Association, says that it's time for the U.S. to take action. According to Fogelsong, Japan's unscientific trade restriction is not consistent with fair-trade practices nor with U.S. treatment of Japanese imports, and it continues to cost the U.S. beef industry. He says it limits the U.S. to about 25% of the potential market there, or $1 billion in lost beef exports each year.
Moran said that Japan asks for fair treatment of their products and we're asking for the same fair treatment. Blunt said he's hopeful this resolution sends a signal that we expect the Japanese government to reverse its unfair restrictions on beef from the United States.