Japan’s new import rules to help U.S. beef industry
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Ranchers welcomed Japan’s decision Monday to ease restrictions on U.S. beef imports, saying it will provide a boost to the American meat industry but cautioning that it will take time before exports to Japan reach levels of a decade ago.
Japan is one of the biggest importers of U.S. beef, despite restrictions that for years haven’t allowed the import of beef from cattle older than 20 months despite the industry standard of 30 months. Japan banned U.S. beef altogether in 2003 after the U.S. recorded its first case of mad cow disease, but has since lifted regulations.
The news of the expanded export market is especially welcome now after a market downturn caused by high feed price and drought, said J.D. Alexander, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
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