The Financial Times is reporting today that a deal has been reached in the South Korea beef import debate. While that deal could face political opposition in Washington, the report says U.S. beef imports could resume to that market as quickly as this week.
Dealmakers agreed to voluntarily restrict beef shipments to Korea to meat from cows less than 30 months of age. Under the agreement, according to the report, regulators will label all products with an age-verification stamp.
Washington deal makers are reviewing a comprehensive trade agreement with South Korea and this beef issue has been a major sticking point. In April, Korea agreed to import U.S. beef of any age bone-in and boneless, however massive protests in the country put significant pressure on local authorities to change the terms of the agreement.
Whether lawmakers like the change in the beef rules, or not, could be significant as the overall trade agreement moves forward.