Thirty-one U.S. Senators asked South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun to personally help in resolving the opening of that market to U.S. beef, and reminding him of the importance of this issue to the U.S.-Korea free-trade negotiations. In the letter, the Senators stated, "It has been more than seven months since our countries' health officials agreed on initial conditions to resume trade. The restoration of beef trade prior to the conclusion of talks scheduled for the end of this year is essential to making meaningful progress and addressing Congressional reservations about a possible free trade agreement (FTA)." The letter was initiated by Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Ag Committee, respectively.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent