Recent bilateral negotiations have led to the United States and the Philippines signing an agreement last week that gives complete access to the Philippine market for U.S. beef of all ages. Beef imports were suspended in 2003 as a result of BSE, although U.S. beef has had partial access to the Philippines since 2006.
"I applaud Philippine Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap for making a decision that is based on sound science and in line with international guidelines," acting Ag Secretary Chuck Conner says. "The Philippines has set the standard for other Asian nations, and we will continue to press for full market access throughout the Pacific Rim."
During a visit to the U.S. for another event, Yap met with Conner and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab and reached an agreement.
"The relationship between the United States and the Philippines is strong at this point in time," Yap says. "And we would like to move forward in all aspects of our bilateral relations."
The U.S. exported $4.9 million of beef to the Philippines in 2003 and $6.3 million in 2006 when they gained access for boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months of age. Exports could double in 2008 under the new agreement according to USDA estimates.