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U.S. aide bluntly describes her beef

24 January 2007

US - The United States turned up the pressure on Korea to negotiate a settlement of a controversy over the import of U.S. beef here on Monday in Washington.

At least in part responding to anger in the U.S. farm belt and the November elections, which put a Democratic cattle state senator into the chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee, the U.S. chief negotiator had some blunt words on beef and a trade pact.

They are related, she told reporters in a teleconference organized by her office, ¡°to the extent that we made it clear to Korea that the FTA is not going to happen unless the market is fully reopened to U.S. beef.

Although Korea said it would allow a partial reopening of its beef market last year after a three-year ban because of a case of mad cow disease found in the United States, it has rejected all three shipments of beef since the reopening because of bone fragments found in a few of the packages of boneless beef.

U.S. beef on the bone is still banned from trade.

In other comments at the conference, Ms. Cutler said she and her Korean counterpart had made some progress on the issue during the sixth round of trade negotiations in Seoul last week.

During the negotiations in Seoul last week, 11 U.S. senators told Lee Tae-sik, Korea¡¯s ambassador to the United States, that Korea¡¯s rejection of entire shipments of several tons each when bone chips were found in only two or three boxes made it impossible for Korea and the United States to have normal trade relations.

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Source: JoongAng Daily


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