Roger Bernard, Farm Journal Policy & Washington Editor
More talks on beef trade issues are in store with Japan to establish a "mutually agreeable framework" for import rules regarding U.S. beef and beef products, according to a statement USDA released on meetings today between USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Hirotaka Akamatsu, Japan's Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Here's the full statement:
"Today, Minister Akamatsu and I had the opportunity to discuss many aspects of the U.S. – Japan bilateral trading relationship in agriculture. Among other topics, we addressed the issue of Japan's import conditions for U.S. beef and beef products. The discussion was a useful exchange of respective views. Given the importance of a candid exchange of views regarding import conditions for U.S. beef and beef products based on science and international standards, we both underscored the commitment of our respective governments to continue discussions. The Minister and I share the view that U.S. and Japanese officials will continue the dialogue through a series of senior and working level meetings in order to establish a mutually agreeable framework for the import conditions for U.S. beef and beef products. This issue remains a high priority for the United States and the U.S. objective remains a framework that is consistent with science and international standards. Minister Akamatsu and I concluded our meeting by confirming that the U.S. - Japan bilateral relationship in agriculture is a strong and positive one and vowed to continue in this direction.”