Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator Thune today expressed concern regarding the South Korean government's decision to delay the importation of U.S. beef. The delay comes months after U.S. and Korean negotiators formed an agreement that would lift South Korea's ban on U.S. beef that has been in place since 2003.

"The American cattle industry produces some of the safest, highest quality beef in the world, especially considering the World Organization for Animal Health classifies the United States as a `controlled risk' for meat safety," said Thune. "South Korea's unilateral decision to indefinitely delay U.S. beef importation, after initially agreeing to reopen its doors to U.S. beef, is motivated by internal political problems rooted in unsubstantiated fear of American beef among the Korean people. The proven safety of beef from South Dakota and other states speaks for itself, and grants U.S. beef the right to be globally marketed."

In April, 2008, negotiators reached a framework for South Korea to resume importation of all beef cuts from the U.S. Prior to the 2003 ban, South Korea was the second largest export market for U.S. beef and veal, accounting for 24 percent of all U.S. beef exports valued at $183 million per year. According to industry analysts, South Korea's market potential totals $1 billion and could soon be the number one consumer of U.S. beef.