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Welcome Back- or Not

by Boyd Kidwell

U.S. beef is back in Japan — or at least it was when this story was submitted. Then, just as American cattlemen anticipated a return to days when Japanese consumers spent $1.3 billion annually on U.S. beef, misfortune struck again. With less than two months of renewed trade, a vertebral column was found in a U.S. veal shipment to Japan, and Japan halted trade Jan. 20.

The status of trade with Japan is in limbo. It could have reopened by the time this publication arrives in mailboxes, or the industry may face a repeat of the two-year ban that was lifted in December 2005. Regardless, the renewed trade was a first step, and at press time several countries — including Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore — were opening their borders to U.S. beef. ...

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