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Walden Writes Japanese Ambassador Urging Swift Action to Lift Ban on American Beef after Commission Agrees on its Safety

Location: Washington, DC

Walden Writes Japanese Ambassador Urging Swift Action to Lift Ban on American Beef after Commission Agrees on its Safety

Recommendation from Japanese officials to reopen the border for imports follows persistent efforts by Walden, colleagues

In his latest action to urge Japan to immediately reopen its border for imports of American beef, Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) today sent a letter to Ambassador of Japan Ryozo Kato urging swift action by the his country's government in lifting their ban on U.S. beef following a recommendation made by the Japanese Food Safety Commission indicating their concurrence with America's longstanding knowledge that U.S. beef is safe for consumption. The Commission will send its recommendation to the Health and Agriculture ministries of Japan for their consideration in the decision to lift the ban imposed two years ago after the first case of BSE was found in the U.S.

"The American economy loses more than $3 billion every year due to the unjustified barrier to beef trade Japan has imposed. The quality and safety of American food products are unparalleled, and I am encouraged that the Japanese Food Safety Commission is finally moving forward with a recommendation that their nation reinstate the importation of American beef," said Walden, a member of the Congressional Beef Caucus, Rural Caucus and Western Caucus.

"I'm hopeful that the Japanese government will heed the recommendation of the Food Safety Commission and not delay in reopening the border to our high-quality beef. Japan is a friend, and it is time that they put a stop to the trade politics being played at the expense of the hard-working ranching families throughout Oregon and the United States," he added.

Walden's letter to Ambassador Kato is part of his continued effort to encourage Japan to lift the ban, including letters he's written to the Japanese government and President Bush about the issue. Last month, during a speech at a convention of the Oregon Cattlemen's Association, Walden announced his cosponsorship of H.R. 4179, legislation that would impose tariffs on Japanese products entering the United States to equal to the $3 billion annual loss to the American economy caused by the ban.

Walden is in his fourth term representing the people of Oregon's Second District, which covers twenty counties in central, southern and eastern Oregon.

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