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U.S. looks forward to renewed beef trade with Korea

U.S. looks forward to renewed beef trade with Korea

   The U.S. Department of Agriculture said trade in beef products is ready to resume with South Korea.

   U.S. farmers will be able to export boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months of age to the Asian country. South Korea, like many countries, banned U.S. beef imports in late December 2003 after the USDA confirmed a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or “mad cow” disease, in a Washington state cow.

   The USDA reached an initial agreement to resume beef trade with South Korea in January. Since then, South Korea dispatched auditors to the United States and held follow-up meetings with USDA officials to ensure compliance with the agreement.

   South Korea is a key beef export market for U.S. farmers. In 2003, the United States exported more than $814 million in beef to South Korea, with boneless beef accounting for $449 million, the USDA said.

   “Trade resumption in boneless beef is the first step in normalizing trade of beef and beef products with Korea,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns in a Sept. 7 statement. “We look forward to expanding our access to the Korean market and other export markets to achieve trade that is consistent with international guidelines.”

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