U.S. senators threaten tariffs against Japan
The Washington Post reported that Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D., are expected to introduce legislation today that would impose more than $3 billion in tariffs on Japanese imports if the country does not lift a ban on American beef shipments before the end of the year.
Japan imposed the ban in late December 2003, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed that a Washington state cow had tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or “mad cow” disease.
The Bush administration said it has since made significant improvements to its meat safety programs. Japan is traditionally one of the most valuable markets for high-end U.S. beef shipments.