Bush to Urge Fukuda to End Age Limit on Beef Imports

US - U.S. President George W. Bush is poised to turn up the heat on Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda during their planned talks later this month to repeal the age limit on U.S. beef imports, a U.S. government source said Saturday.
calendar icon 12 November 2007
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Fukuda will be the third Japanese premier whom Bush has urged to fully open the country's beef market, following Junichiro Koizumi and Shinzo Abe, the source said.

The source made the comments after Acting U.S. Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner said in late October it is taking "too long" to resolve the bilateral beef trade dispute stemming from Japanese fears of mad cow disease.

"We're going to continue to press this point," Conner told reporters last month. "We're frustrated."

Japan limits U.S. beef imports to meat coming from cattle aged 20 months or younger. Since June, the two countries have held talks on relaxing Japan's beef import terms for U.S. beef. Tokyo is considering raising the limit to cattle aged 30 months or younger.

Washington has been urging Tokyo to fully open its beef market since the World Organization for Animal Health decided in May to allow the United States to export beef regardless of cattle age.

Source: The Japan Times

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