• ITVI.USA
    15,379.620
    -113.610
    -0.7%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.786
    -0.021
    -0.7%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.500
    -0.060
    -0.3%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,349.750
    -127.770
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    -0.240
    -6.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.950
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.440
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.310
    0.060
    1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.150
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.950
    -0.100
    -2.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,379.620
    -113.610
    -0.7%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.786
    -0.021
    -0.7%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.500
    -0.060
    -0.3%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,349.750
    -127.770
    -0.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    -0.240
    -6.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.950
    -0.020
    -0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.440
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.310
    0.060
    1.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.150
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.950
    -0.100
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  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    1.000
    0.8%
American Shipper

New USDA chief’s goal to eliminate “non-science” based trade barriers

New USDA chief’s goal to eliminate “non-science” based trade barriers

New USDA chief’s goal to eliminate “non-science” based trade barriers

   The Bush administration’s new agriculture secretary told lawmakers he intends to use his administration to eliminate “non-science” based trade barriers against U.S. beef products.

   “As traditional trade barriers such as tariffs are lowered, our focus to eliminate unjustified non-tariff barriers such as non-science based SPS (sanitary and phytosanitary) regulatory measures become all the more important to maintain the flow of mutually beneficial trade,” Agriculture Secretary Michael Johanns testified before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Thursday.

   U.S. beef products were shut out of most overseas markets Dec. 23, 2003, after a Washington state cow was found to have the brain-wasting disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

   The U.S. Department of Agriculture has struggled to reopen overseas markets for U.S. beef, especially high-value markets, such as Japan and Korea.

   The concern in the American cattle industry is that some countries may set unrealistic trade requirements. The USDA has tried to take these concerns into account, but Johanns said he would not allow his administration to be swayed on how to act by the various meatpacking lobbies.

   “I believe that the marketplace should determine cross-border trading patterns,” Johanns said. “We must make every effort to avoid policies that favor one group of packers over another. Decisions, however, related to sanitary and phytosanitary measures must be based on science.”

   Johanns said the USDA would maintain consistent and predictable domestic regulations based on science. These regulations would also be in line with the World Trade Organization. He added that he would encourage the use of similar measures by other countries when evaluating their cross-border trade.

   Johanns praised the Canadian government for its domestic safeguards againt BSE and efforts to protect the health of its beef trade with the United States.

   “Canada has the necessary safeguards in place to protect U.S. consumers and livestock against BSE,” Johanns told the Senate committee. “The extensive risk assessment conducted as part of USDA’s rulemaking process also took into careful consideration the possibility that Canada could experience additional cases of BSE.”

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