Today’s announcement from the Republic of South Korea is welcome news to the previously suspended plants and is a positive development in our ongoing discussions with South Korea to normalize beef trade.  More importantly, I am looking forward to Korea taking the next step and commencing their market expansion-related site visits this month.

These developments signal that American producers will soon be allowed to once again export American beef to South Korea.  While there is still work to be done, I commend Korean Ambassador Tae Sik Lee for his attention to this urgent matter.  As I discussed with Ambassador Lee last week, Congress will not approve the impending free trade agreement between our two great nations without meaningful resolution of the beef issue.  This seems to be a step in the right direction.

I will remain diligent in my efforts to secure open access for boneless and bone-in beef products from animals of all ages to the Korean market for our producers.