U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. and Japan have agreed to allow U.S. cattle products, regardless of age, to enter Japan.
In 2003, Japan banned all U.S. beef over fears about bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and in 2013, allowed products only from cattle younger than 30 months of age.
The USDA estimates the move could increase U.S. beef exports by up to $200 million each year.
“This is great news for American ranchers and exporters who now have full access to the Japanese market for their high-quality, safe, wholesome, and delicious U.S. beef,” Perdue said in a USDA news release announcing the change. “We are hopeful that Japan’s decision will help lead other markets around the world toward science-based policies.”
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., praised the move.
“We appreciate Secretary Perdue’s work to negotiate better trade for our producers this week during his meetings in Japan,” Hoeven said in a news release. “This new agreement will bring Japan in line with international guidelines for BSE, which is an important step as the Administration continues to negotiate a trade agreement with Japan.”