March 14, 2005

CRAPO PRESSES JAPANESE AMBASSADOR FOR RESUMPTION OF BEEF TRADE

Todayâ??s face-to-face meeting focused on closed Japanese markets

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and other Members of Congress met today on Capitol Hill with Ambassador of Japan, Ryozo Kato, to press for the resumption of beef trade between the U.S. and Japan. â??We had a candid exchange with Ambassador Kato,â?? said Crapo. â??We expressed our frustration that the U.S. has met the safety requirements set forth by the Japanese government and our two countries have reached an agreement to resume trade, yet we donâ??t have the finality needed to begin shipping beef again.â?? â??I appreciated Ambassador Katoâ??s willingness to discuss this matter with us today,â?? Crapo continued. â??The message was made clear that there is growing frustration with this prolonged closure, and Japan must re-open its markets swiftly to prevent potential sanctions.â?? Crapo joined Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colorado) and eighteen other Senators in sending a letter last week to Ambassador Kato expressing concern over the prolonged closure and the potential for equitable retaliatory actions should there not be resolution to the matter. â??Despite substantial urging today, Ambassador Kato did not provide a specific timeline of when Japanâ??s market will be reopened,â?? said Crapo. â??He did, however, indicate that it would occur as soon as possible.â?? Japanâ??s market has been closed to U.S. beef exports following the December 2003 discovery of one case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) imported into the U.S. from Canada. The U.S. exported more than $1 billion in beef to Japan prior to the closure. Despite an agreement reached in October of 2004 between the U.S. and Japan to resume beef trade, Japan has not re-opened its market to U.S. beef. # # #