Thursday, November 15, 2018

Japan may remove import restrictions on U.S. beef that were imposed because of mad-cow disease

Japan's food safety commission has recommended removing import restrictions on U.S. beef meant to stave off mad-cow disease. Current restrictions only allow U.S. cattle aged 30 months or younger to be imported.

U.S. trade representatives have lobbied for the change in bilateral trade talks with Japan, in hopes of remaining competitive with Australia after the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade pact that includes the two countries takes effect Dec. 30, The Associated Press reports. President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the TPP as one of his first official acts; he considered rejoining it in April when the trade war with China began heating up, but ultimately chose to pursue bilateral treaties instead.

A Japanese research panel will report its findings to the nation's health minister after a one-month period of public comment. "The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry also plans to hold talks with the United States on the details, such as how meat should be processed, before officially deciding to remove the import restrictions," AP reports.

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