U.S. lawmakers see positive signs on Korea beef row

US - South Korean officials in Washington are making "encouraging" signs that could bring rapprochement in a bitter feud over U.S. beef exports, U.S. lawmakers said on Wednesday.
calendar icon 18 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
Max Baucus, chair of the Senate's influential Finance Committee, called a closed-door meeting with Korean Ambassador Lee Tae-sik and more than half a dozen fellow senators "encouraging," and said the South Korean official was taking steps toward resolving a row that has enraged the U.S. beef industry and overshadowed talks on a coveted free trade agreement.

The ambassador has consulted the higher-ups in Seoul, and is taking steps to find a resolution "in a way that is fair to both South Korea and the United States," Baucus said.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, another U.S. politician who has excoriated Seoul's refusal to accept beef shipments it says have contained prohibited animal parts, called the meeting "positive."

Since November, Seoul turned away a string of U.S. beef shipments it flagged as containing bone chips or other prohibited animal parts.

The news dashed hopes among American cattle interests of an imminent revival of a lucrative beef trade with the Asian nation that had been halted since 2003 when mad cow disease was discovered in the United States.

The row has cast a long shadow in talks on the proposed bilateral trade agreement, which entered a sixth round this week in Seoul. While the beef issue isn't formally part of the talks, U.S. negotiators say it needs to be resolved before progress is made on the coveted pact.

Source: Yahoo News
© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.