THE United States' first reported mad cow disease case in six years will not affect negotiations about Japan's possible membership in a US-led Pacific trade pact, the government said yesterday.!
For Washington, Japan's curbs on beef imports from countries hit by the disease are one of the sticking points and US exporters have been counting on Tokyo to relax the curbs following a review initiated in December.!
The curbs, which in 2005 replaced a total ban put in place after the first mad cow case in 2003, have capped US imports in what is still the largest Asian market for U.S. beef.!
In 2011, Japan imported 120,000 tonnes of US beef, the second-biggest origin after Australia in its imported beef market of 517,000 tonnes, or ¥210 billion (US$2.59 billion).!
Japan only allows imports of US and Canadian beef from cattle aged 20 months or less, but its Food Safety Commission (FSC) is assessing the risk of easing the limit to 30 months. !
Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said the new case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) reported on Tuesday should have no bearing on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.!
"The BSE issue will be dealt separately from discussion of TPP and is being handled separately from a scientific standpoint," he told a news conference.!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
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