Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Reps. Braley and Terry Object to Russian Ban of US Meat

Urge US Trade Representative to enforce Russia’s compliance with WTO agriculture trade standards

Washington, D.C. – Reps. Bruce Braley (D-IA) and Lee Terry (R-NE) today are urging U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to take aggressive action to enforce Russia’s compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) agriculture trade standards in the wake of a recent ban on American meat imports.

In December, Russia announced that it would begin enforcing a zero-tolerance standard on imported meat for trace amounts of ractopamine, a feed additive used extensively in the United States and other countries.  Because of its severity, the new policy effectively bans American beef, pork, and turkey from Russia.

Braley said, “Russia is using ractopamine as nothing more than an excuse to ban US meat imports and shield their own producers from competition.  Russia’s actions clearly violate international trade agreements and the United States needs to take a more aggressive stance to reverse this egregiously unfair policy.  In the interest of free and fair trade, Russia needs to immediately reverse their policy.”

Terry said, "With 27 other countries safely importing American meat, the decision by Russia to ban American meat products clearly isn't based on sound science. Whatever their reason, they must reverse this unfair trade practice.  I urge Representative Kirk to do everything he can to ensure that America's farmers and ranchers have access to fair and open international trade markets."

If the Russian sanctions stand, United States livestock producers stand to lose an estimated $600 million in annual sales.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of ractopamine in livestock for more than a decade.  Today, 27 countries – including Japan, South Korea, Australia, and Canada – allow ractopamine and agree that it is safe for human consumption.

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