Obama, Rousseff talk agriculture, highlight ‘mutual beef market access’ | TSLN.com

Obama, Rousseff talk agriculture, highlight ‘mutual beef market access’

"Mutual beef market access" is highlighted as one of the areas in which the United States and Brazil will cooperate, according to a White House fact sheet issued following Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's visit to the White House this week.

"The United States and Brazil are two of the world's largest agricultural producers and exporters, and we agreed to expand bilateral beef trade by undertaking science-based risk rulemaking in 2013," the fact sheet says.

"The United States of Department of Agriculture is amending its regulations to allow the importation of fresh beef from Brazil under specific conditions that mitigate the risk of foot-and-mouth disease.

"Additionally, the United States and Brazil are working to ensure that any Brazilian meat imported into the United States for human consumption complies with U.S. public health and food safety regulations. Brazil is taking action to expand U.S. beef access in the near future."

The Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health Service announced Monday that it had approved imports of fresh and chilled beef from northern Argentina and sections of Brazil.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the U.S. Cattlemen's Association, the National Farmers Union and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., immediately criticized the decision, saying that there is a threat that food and mouth disease may be transmitted to U.S. cattle.

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APHIS said it has determined the threat is minimal and that if the United States wants other countries to follow internationally accepted trade rules it must abide by them.

The White House fact sheet also said that the United States and Brazil would cooperate on trade standards, climate change, food security support in Africa, the United Nations post-2015 development agenda and the promotion of physical activity and sports among many other issues.

In a joint communique, Obama and Rousseff also discussed agricultural cooperation and noted that Rousseff "expressed her satisfaction with the publication of the American final rule."

The communique said that Brazil is also taking action to expand U.S. beef access "in the near future."

–The Hagstrom Report