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Dr. Coburn Welcomes Progress in Ending Japanese Ban on U.S. Beef Imports

Location: Washington, DC

Dr. Coburn Welcomes Progress in Ending Japanese Ban on U.S. Beef Imports

Urges South Korea to Follow Suit

June 21, 2006

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today regarding the Japanese government's announcement it is moving toward lifting the ban on American beef imports.

"I am pleased to hear progress is being made to reopen the Japanese market to American beef imports. It's apparent the Japanese government is coming to realize what we've known all along and that is American beef products are among highest-quality and safest beef products in the world," Dr. Coburn said. "We must remain cautiously optimistic, as we have heard similar overtones from the Japanese government in the past. We cannot be satisfied until the Japanese market is fully open and accessible to American ranchers and cattlemen.

"If necessary, the Congress is prepared to impose sanctions if the Japanese market is not opened soon to American beef imports. Similarly, I hope the South Korean government moves toward ending its ban on American beef products," Dr. Coburn said. "Oklahoma's ranchers and cattlemen have been anxiously waiting the opportunity to sell their world-class beef products to the Japanese and Korean markets. It's entirely unfair American products are denied entry into those countries while products from Japan and Korea are freely imported into the United States. This is unacceptable and I will work to end this imbalance."

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