South Korea to Import Boneless Beef
Jan. 13, 2006

U.S. Makes Progress in Reopening Market, Urges Korea to Accept All Beef

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman announced today that South Korea and the United States have agreed on an initial import protocol, allowing the U.S. to export boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months of age under a Beef Export Verification Program.

Johanns said trade is expected to resume sometime around the end of March. Both he and Portman recognized the news as an important step in fully reopening Korea’s market to U.S. beef.

“We welcome the conclusion of our technical negotiations in Seoul. This paves the way for the reopening of Korea’s beef market,” Johanns said. “Korea has been our third-largest market for beef exports, so regaining this market has been a priority for the Administration.”

Portman said that although the protocol is welcome news, U.S. officials are extremely disappointed that Korea did not fully open its market to all U.S. beef products.

“We will continue to urge Korea in the strongest terms to open its market without delay to U.S. bone-in beef, variety meats and offal,” he said. “Together these products historically accounted for approximately 50% of U.S. beef exports to Korea.”

According to USDA, prior to the 2003 ban, the U.S. exported $815 million worth of beef and beef products to Korea, of which $449 million was boneless beef.

Since the closing of some U.S. export markets in December 2003, the United States has recovered access to markets valued at more than $3.2 billion, or 82% of the 2003 export value of $3.9 billion, USDA reports.


— compiled by Crystal Albers, Angus Productions Inc.

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