U.S. and Japanese officials met this week in San Francisco to discuss their countries’ long-standing dispute over bilateral beef trade, but apparently made little headway toward Washington’s goal of easing restrictions on U.S. beef.
A statement issued jointly by USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said the two sides “covered a wide array of technical topics related to [bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)].”
Those topics included current Japanese regulations and regulatory processes, Japan’s risk-assessment process for beef and the country’s import inspection and border measures. Tokyo also sought clarification on U.S. progress on BSE surveillance measures, among other topics.
U.S. officials did not, however, make any specific requests regarding Japan’s rule that only U.S. beef
harvested from cattle aged 20 months or less can be imported, according to Japanese media reports.
This week’s talks were the first of their kind since the summer of 2007.
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