CALGARY, Alta. — Canadian beef producers are eagerly awaiting an announcement today that the U.S. will begin accepting key cuts of Canadian beef.
"This is certainly an important step," Alberta Beef Producers chairman Arno Doerksen told local media.
It’s expected total border freedom for Canadian beef products will follow soon after. Today’s expected announcement will permit imports of ground beef and beef on the one from Canadian cattle aged 30 months or younger, effective immediately, predicted Doerksen.
Those products are worth about $170 million per year in exports and will include products such as prime rib and T-bone steaks. It’s expected shipments of beef into the U.S. will jump by 10 to 15 per cent immediately, according to the Canada Beef Export Federation (CBEF). That will bring total beef exports to the U.S. to 80 per cent of pre-BSE levels.
“But of greater impact than the actual importing of these cuts is the message it’s sending from the U.S. government,” CBEF president, Ted Haney told local media. “It shows that it really does intend to restore (trade) and projects a positive expectation for the intent of the Bush administration.”
He said the move paves the way for the re-opening of the border to live cattle.
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