The U.S. Meat Export Federation wants the United States to regain what was once the number three export market for the U.S. beef industry, South Korea. To do so USMEF has introduced an enhanced initiative to address the impact of non-science-based import regulations on U.S. beef exports to South Korea. USMEF will utilize $1 million in competitive cost-share grant funds awarded to it last week through USDA's Market Access Program to augment its current efforts to increase sales of beef and beef products in Korea.
Next, USMEF will seek an additional $10 million in Market Access Program funding to implement a five-year strategy to further expand U.S. beef exports to Korea. USMEF president and CEO Philip Seng believes these new resources will enable us to expand and intensify our efforts with a goal of the complete restoration of the beef market in Korea.
"The U.S. meat industry has faced unprecedented and unscientific technical barriers to trade that, in the name of food safety, have unnecessarily restricted U.S. exports," said Seng. "These new resources will enable us to expand and intensify our efforts with a goal of the complete restoration of the beef market in Korea."
According to Seng, the proposed free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea will dovetail perfectly with this enhanced initiative.
"This integrated strategy will support and complement the ongoing efforts of the U.S. government to convince Korea as well as governments throughout North Asia to open their markets to U.S. beef on the basis of science-based international standards," said Seng.
USMEF and USDA have collaborated through USDA's MAP program since USMEF was established in 1976 to improve market access for U.S. meat and meat products internationally. In 2010, USMEF virtually matched the MAP fund support dollar-for-dollar with funds contributed through beef, pork, corn and soybean checkoff programs and membership dues.