Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Keenum and Deputy Undersecretary Ellen Terpstra are part of a group of U.S. officials in Tokyo this week trying to convince Japan to make significant economic policy reforms. The chief agricultural issue is gaining full access for U.S. beef to the Japanese market. Acting Ag Secretary Chuck Conner says the message to the Japanese regarding beef trade is the same one that has been at the forefront for the past several months.
"They have said they are going to trade according to the international standards; they continue to attempt to back away from that," Conner says. "Dr. Keenum and Ellen Terpsta's message to them is going to continue to be, you've got to live up to that commitment to trade according to these international standards."
The United States was granted a BSE Controlled Risk designation by the World Organization of Animal Health earlier this year.