Statement By Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns regarding U.S. beef trade with Korea -- September 7, 2006:

"Korea today announced that it would resume the importation of U.S. boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months of age. Although the agreement was signed back in January, several months of cooperative effort between our two countries have been necessary, which included two visits by Korean audit teams to confirm the efficacy of the U.S. inspection system.

"Korea is an important beef market for us. In 2003, the United States exported more than $814 million worth of beef to Korea, with boneless beef accounting for $449 million.

"Trade resumption in boneless beef is the first step in normalizing trade of beef and beef products with Korea. We look forward to expanding our access to the Korean market and other export markets to achieve trade that is consistent with international guidelines.

"We are mindful that significant technical issues exist that must be resolved. We will continue to work with Korea to address these matters in the coming days."

USDA news release.