The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has launched an investigation into the effects of animal health, sanitary and food safety measures on global beef trade and the impact of these and other restrictions on U.S. beef exports. The investigation, "Global Beef Trade: Effects of Animal Health, Sanitary, Food Safety, and Other Measures on U.S. Beef Exports," was requested by the U.S. Senate's Committee on Finance in a letter on Aug. 7.

The letter noted that the future sustainability of the U.S. beef industry is highly dependent on access to global markets, and that current BSE-related restrictions on U.S. beef exports, especially by Japan and South Korea, have hurt the U.S. industry.

As requested, the ITC will provide an overview of the U.S. and global markets for beef and information on animal health, sanitary and food safety measures facing U.S. and other major beef exporters in major destination markets. ITC also will provide info on other barriers to U.S. beef exports in major destination markets, including high tariffs, quotas, and import licensing and distribution systems, and an analysis of the economic effects of these measures on U.S. beef exports.

ITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation on Nov. 15 and submit its report by June 6, 2008.
-- National Meat Association Lean Trimmings