U.S. To Be 'Patient' With Japan Over Beef Trade: Johanns

US - The United States will be "patient" with Japan in its effort to completely pry open Japan's beef market, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said Thursday.
calendar icon 15 June 2007
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"We will be as patient as we can be," he told journalists, in response to a question over whether Washington intends to set a deadline for Tokyo to relax its restrictions on U.S. beef imports.

Johanns made the remarks as Japan intends to begin negotiations with the United States shortly to ease its import criteria for American beef in the wake of an international animal health body's recent decision to allow exports of American beef irrespective of cattle age.

Japan currently limits U.S. beef imports to those from cattle aged 20 months or less as a result of the first U.S. case of mad cow disease, officially called bovine spongiform encephalopathy, found in December 2003.

The World Organization for Animal Health, which is known as the OIE and deals with safety standards for preventing BSE, decided in May to allow the United States to exports beef regardless of cattle age.

Source: Yahoo News
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