Members of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) are pleased Taiwan has confirmed April 16, 2005, as the final date for the re-opening its borders to U.S. beef exports. Taiwan leads the Asian markets with this re-opening and is a major export market for U.S. beef and beef products.

"We're mighty glad Taiwan sees the importance of re-establishing normalized trade, and is taking the initiative to re-open this valuable export market," says Texas cattle producer and NCBA President Jim McAdams. "Our members have been fighting for this, and we hope other Asian markets like Japan and South Korea will follow Taiwan's lead as soon as possible."

Total beef exports to Taiwan in 2003 amounted to 19,200 metric tons (mt), valued at $76 million. The 15-month ban on U.S. beef came after the December 23, 2003 U.S. discovery of a single case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a Canadian-born cow.

"U.S. beef is safe from BSE and we have the right measures in place to keep it that way," says McAdams. "The extensive USDA surveillance program has confirmed nearly 300,000 BSE negatives in our 'high-risk' cattle population, and counting. There is absolutely no valid reasoning for the continued closure of any of our export markets to U.S. beef. They must be re-opened."

NCBA will continue to work with members of Congress, the Bush Administration and foreign officials to expedite the reopening of all borders closed to U.S. beef since late 2003 in order to re-establish science-based BSE trade policies across the globe.

Source: Association Release