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Welcome news for Iowa beef producers

By Staff | Aug 12, 2016

Selling American agricultural products internationally makes an important contribution to our nation’s economy. It’s also hugely significant for the Hawkeye State.

According to information provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, agricultural exports support more than 1 million American jobs. Consequently, whenever changes make foreign sales easier they are welcome. In that regard, a new trade pact with Brazil is an especially positive development.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Aug. 1 that the U.S. government has concluded an agreement with Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply to allow access for U.S. beef and beef products to the Brazilian market. Since 2003, the sale of American beef has been restricted due to Brazilian concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy – BSE.

“After many years of diligently working to regain access to the Brazilian market, the United States welcomes the news that Brazil has removed all barriers to U.S. beef and beef product exports,” Vilsack said in a statement issued this month by the USDA. “We are pleased that Brazil, a major agricultural producing and trading country, has aligned with science-based international standards, and we encourage other nations to do the same. Since last year alone, USDA has eliminated BSE-related restrictions in 16 countries, regaining market access for U.S. beef and pumping hundreds-of-millions of dollars into the American economy.”

With an estimated more than 200 million consumers, Brazil is a large and potentially very lucrative market for Iowa beef producers.

Vilsack has been a forceful advocate of revised trade pacts worldwide that make it easier for American agricultural products to be exported. Farm News applauds that effort. Vilsack and his team at the USDA deserve thanks for the hard work that made the latest agreement a reality.

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