Japan Snafu Won't Slow Talks to Boost Beef Trade-USDA

US - A 20-tonne beef shipment to Japan that mistakenly contained extra boxes of meat intended for distribution in the United States won't slow efforts by the Agriculture Department to fully reopen trade with it's one-time largest customer, a USDA spokesman said on Monday.
calendar icon 4 March 2008
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The beef shipment included an additional 25 boxes that had not been ordered, but were being held in the same Arizona facility. The plant, operated by Smithfield Foods Inc (SFD.N: Quote, Profile, Research), has been temporarily banned from shipping beef to Japan.

"We believe we are going to continue business with Japan and to continue to proceed under a more broader trading regimen that their customers have asked for, which is for more U.S. beef," USDA spokesman Keith Williams said.

Beef shipments from the United States were banned by Japan soon after the first case of mad cow disease was found in Washington state in December 2003. Trade resumed in the summer of 2006, but Japan has suspended shipments from plants that have shipped beef cargoes that violate the bilateral agreement or are without required documentation.

Source: Reuters
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