WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2006 – Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns today announced that Mexico has resumed trade in U.S. bone-in beef from animals under 30 months of age.
"Mexico’s decision to further open its market to U.S. beef is a testament to the safety of U.S. beef and a clear expression of confidence in the U.S. safeguards to prevent BSE," said Johanns. "As a NAFTA partner and our second largest export market, the normalization of beef trade with Mexico is great news for our farmers and ranchers. This action demonstrates Mexico’s commitment to trade based on internationally accepted scientific standards for human and animal health."
In March 2004, Mexico opened its market to boneless U.S. beef from animals under 30 months of age, which had closed following the December 2003 find of BSE in Washington state. In April 2005, to help normalize trade in ruminants and ruminant products within North America, Mexico, the United States and Canada agreed to harmonize their BSE risk mitigation measures to more effectively address any BSE risk in the region.
U.S. beef exporters sold more than $874 million worth of beef products to Mexico in 2003, with bone-in beef products accounting for $40 million of that total.