TOKYO — Washington and Tokyo agreed Thursday to start talking again about American beef, a small but significant step toward relaxing import restrictions that have hindered access to the Japanese market.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack suggested Wednesday that restarting talks on U.S. beef imports, subject to prolonged restrictions because of concerns over mad cow disease, will take priority on his visit to Japan.
WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who is traveling to Japan April 5 to 9 to Japan, says he hopes to make progress on expanding beef exports to Japan by listening to the Japanese more than Bush administration negotiators did.
Continued bans on U.S. pork imports by China, Russia and more than a dozen other counties have baffled government and industry officials, leading some to speculate that the issue is more about market share than health concerns.
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