January 28, 2005

Crapo: Tyson Suspension Highlights Need To Regain Foreign Beef Markets

Senate Agriculture Committee approves Johannsâ?? nomination for Secretary

Washington, DC â?? With todayâ??s announcement from Tyson Foods that it would temporarily suspend operations at four beef plants including one in Boise, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo noted too many American companies and cattle producers are suffering similar problems due to prolonged closure of foreign markets. Tyson listed the continued absence of key export markets as one of the major contributors to the decision to temporarily suspend operations. Crapoâ??s concerns were highlighted in a confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill today as well. The Senate Agriculture Committee, of which Crapo is a member, held a confirmation hearing today on the nomination of Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns to be the Secretary of Agriculture. The more than three-hour hearing covered a variety of agriculture issues, also including the resumption of live cattle trade with Canada, BSE, animal identification, trade with Cuba, conservation, Country of Origin Labeling, dairy and sugar policy, and rural development.Crapo said, â??The Tyson Foodsâ?? suspension is extremely disappointing and is an example of why it is critical to resume beef exports to our foreign trade partners. The prolonged closure of foreign markets is clearly impacting cattle producers, processing plants and the economy, and it simply must be a primary focus to fully resume beef trade with Japan and other foreign markets.â??â??I am encouraged that, Governor Johanns said that when confirmed he would make reopening Japanâ??s market his number one priority,â?? said Crapo. â??This is the emphasis needed to see this through to reality.â?? Following todayâ??s committee approval, Governor Johannsâ?? nomination will next need to be confirmed by a full vote of the Senate which is expected soon after the Senate returns to session later this month. # # #FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://src.senate.gov/radio/.