The Department of Agriculture reports that the U.S. and Japan have agreed on new terms and conditions that allow U.S. products from all cattle, regardless of age, to enter Japan for the first time since 2003. The USDA estimates that this expanded access, which is effective immediately, could increase U.S. beef and beef product exports to Japan by up to $200 million annually.
USDA notes that Japan banned U.S. beef and beef products in December 2003 after an animal in the U.S. tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy. In December 2005 Japan restored access for U.S. beef muscle cuts and offal items from cattle 20 months of age and younger, and in February 2013 Japan expanded access to include beef and beef products from cattle less than 30 months of age.
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