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U.S. to raise beef issue following KORUS FTA

The Hankyoreh, Korea

U.S. to raise beef issue following KORUS FTA

6 May 2011

(Arirang News) The Obama administration will request consultations with Korea on the possibility of wider access to the Korean beef market once their pending free trade deal comes into force.

In a letter to the US Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus Trade Representative Ron Kirk said he will ask Seoul to further implement the protocol regarding beef imports to Korea.

In 2008, Korea and United States signed protocol to limit imports of US beef from cattle aged at under 30 months amid fears of exposing Korean citizens to mad cow disease.

Baucus, the senior senator from Montana, had been holding out against the pending trade deal

But, Baucus has now offered the bill his support after the Department of Agriculture promised to inject ten million US dollars over the next five years to promote US beef in the Far East.

Meanwhile, the US Representative for New York, Democrat Charles Rangel says that regardless of progress made on the Korean side, the US government is unconditionally set to push for ratification of the deal.

The Korean war veteran says it is not a major issue to see which country‘s parliament comes up with the FTA ratification first as Washington will proceed with its own schedule for bipartisan approval.

Seoul has not set a timetable for its own approval, but it will await US congressional approval before making its a next move.