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Koreans Feeling Pressure Over Beef Imports Ban

A Tuesday Korea Times article says Korea's government is worried the U.S. will go to the World Trade Organization (WTO) if the South Korean import ban on U.S. beef continues. The U.S. may sue Korea under international trade agreements, including the 1994 Uruguay Round.

Even a senior official of South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) says, "There is no justification for further ban on U.S. beef." The ministry official predicted the first batch of U.S. beef will reach Korea in mid-June.

U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman announced in January the two countries had agreed on an initial import protocol that would pave the way to reopening the Korean market to U.S. beef. With that protocol, Korea agreed to allow imports of boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months of age under a Beef Export Verification Program. -- Clint Peck