Led by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., senators voted 52-46 on a resolution of disapproval on USDA's minimal risk rule. With the Senate passage, the House would have to approve the identical resolution.
However, President Bush has pledged to veto the resolution if it makes it to his desk. Both the Senate and the House would have to pass identical resolutions and have the votes to override a Presidential veto for the resolution to nullify USDA's rule.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Cebull issued a formal order this morning for a temporary injunction against implementing the rule on March 7. He has given R-CALF and USDA 10 days to work out the scheduling for a trial on the merits of a permanent injunction.
House introduces resolution to impose sanctions on Japan
Congressman Jerry Moran, R-Kan., with the support of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association today introduced a resolution calling on Japan to reopen its border to U.S. beef. Should Japan fail to do so, Moran's resolution requests that the U.S. Trade Representative seek economic sanctions against Japan. This legislation follows a letter Moran sent to Ryozo Kato, Ambassador of Japan, expressing concern over the lack of action by the Japanese government on this issue and warning Japan not to place its long-standing trade history with the United States in jeopardy.
"While the U.S. has done its part to meet the October agreement, Japan has not, and they stand to lose much more than the United States," Moran says. "If the Japanese government continues down this path, I believe the United States should impose economic sanctions to protect our country from further economic hardship."
Moran's resolution calls on Japan to meet its trade obligations under an agreement reached on October 23, 2004. If Japan fails to abide by the agreement to reopen its border, then the U.S. Trade Representative should initiate immediate retaliatory economic measures on Japan. Since Japan closed its markets to U.S. beef in December 2003, the U.S. has lost an estimated $2 billion in sales.