American Beef Market into Korea
31 U.S. Senators Write Korean President
Friday, August 4, 2006
Thirty-one U.S. Senators have requested Korean President Roh Moo-hyun personally seek to resolve his country's prolonged embargo against American beef. The text of the August 4th letter written by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Ranking Democrat Tom Harkin (D-IA) states further delays could potentially jeopardize a future U.S.-Korea free trade agreement (FTA).
The four-page letter with the signatures of 31 U.S. Senators is posted on the Senate Agriculture Committee website
Dear President Roh:
We respectfully request your personal attention in resolving the prolonged embargo the Republic of Korea maintains on American beef prior to further advancements of free trade talks. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the safety of American beef, more than 16 years of controls, and an agreement to restore trade; the embargo persists.
It has been more than seven months since our countries' health officials agreed on initial conditions to resume trade. The restoration of beef trade prior to the conclusion of talks scheduled for the end of this year is essential to making meaningful progress and addressing Congressional reservations about a possible free trade agreement (FTA). The urgency of resuming trade is heightened now that other Asian nations are open to U.S. beef exports.
As you know, many American cattle and beef groups have informed Ambassador Lee and the U.S. Congress that they oppose a free trade agreement with Korea unless and until beef exports are resumed. This ongoing irritant in our trade relationship will hinder the ability of our trade negotiators to conclude any agreement with your country that would survive Congressional scrutiny.
Therefore, we urge you to restore full beef trade with the U.S. prior to the advancement of FTA talks. We appreciate your response to this inquiry and look forward to working with you on this very important issue.
(With the signatures of 31 Senators: Saxby Chambliss, Tom Harkin, Conrad Burns, Sam Brownback, Jim Talent, Larry Craig, Craig Thomas, John Cornyn, Mike Crapo, Pat Roberts, Norm Coleman, Pete Domenici, Wayne Allard, Orrin Hatch, James Inhofe, John Thune, Bill Frist, Michael Enzi, Richard Burr, Christopher Bond, Kent Conrad, Patty Murray, Barack Obama, Mark Pryor, Ken Salazar, Tim Johnson, Dick Durbin, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, Maria Cantwell, Russ Feingold.