U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Monday that the U.S. and Japan have reached an agreement to further open Japan’s market to U.S. beef. Kirk and Vilsack said the two countries have agreed on new terms and conditions that pave the way for expanded exports of U.S. beef and beef products. The new terms will enter into effect February 1st. Among other steps – Japan will permit the import of beef from cattle less than 30 months of age. It’s estimated the changes will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in exports of U.S. beef to Japan in the coming years. Kirk called the announcement great news for American ranchers and beef companies. He said it represents a significant and historic step in expanding U.S. beef trade with Japan and growing American exports and jobs here at home. Vilsack noted that we are in the most successful period in history for the nation’s agriculture sector. He said the Obama Administration will continue efforts to break down barriers and expand access for high-quality, safe and wholesome U.S. food and agricultural products to Japan and around the world.
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