Hagel Statement on South Korea's Resumption U.S. Beef Imports
U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) issued the following statement today regarding the announcement by U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab that the South Korean Government would fully reopen their markets to U.S. beef imports consistent with international standards and World Animal Health Organization (OIE) guidelines:
"For nearly five years, we have worked to reopen this significant market for Nebraska's beef producers. This agreement is a victory for the entire U.S. beef industry. U.S. beef is the highest quality, safest beef in the world, and it is critical for Nebraska's producers to have full access to the South Korean market. Resolving this issue was a prerequisite to moving a U.S.-South Korean Trade Agreement," Hagel said.
Since the December 2003 closure of the South Korean market to U.S. beef, Hagel has held many meetings with senior South Korean and U.S. officials to push for resumption of U.S. beef imports. Hagel has often met with the South Korean Ambassador to push for more market access for U.S. producers.
South Korea closed its market to U.S. beef after the first case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in the U.S. in December of 2003. Since the discovery of BSE in a U.S. cow, the OIE has formally classified the U.S. as a controlled risk country for BSE. Controlled risk status means that regulatory controls for BSE are in place and effective.