U.S., Mexico discuss re-opening beef trade
U.S. Department of Agriculture officials met their counterparts in Mexico Tuesday to discuss renewing American beef exports to that country.
Mexico banned imports of live cattle and beef products on Dec. 24 when the USDA announced a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or “mad cow” disease, in Washington state.
USDA officials are eager to resume beef exports now that the infected cow was determined to have been imported from Canada. According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, Mexico is the top importer of U.S. beef by volume, handling more than 349,000 tons in 2002.
During the meeting, USDA officials assured the Mexican government that the U.S. meat supply is safe and outlined the additional measures to prevent the further introduction of mad cow disease.
USDA also invited a technical team from Mexico’s Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Food, and Fisheries Secretariat to visit the United States next week for further technical consultations and discussions. Mexico accepted the invitation.