Baucus To Hold E.U. Leaders Accountable On Pork, Beef Exports
Senator Heads for Trade Mission with Montanas Third Largest Trading Partner
Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012
Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012
(Washington, DC) - Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus today is headed on a trade mission to the European Union - Montana's third largest trading partner. Baucus will hold E.U. leaders accountable for blocking imports of Montana pork and beef products that contain the feed additive ractopamine, despite a recent decision by the United Nation's standard setting body that the additive is perfectly safe. Baucus will also meet with European Commission President Manuel Barroso and top trade and Finance Ministers to begin building momentum toward a job-creating free trade agreement between the U.S. and the E.U.
After a recent trade mission to Japan, Baucus announced Japan has begun taking steps to lift its age restrictions and accept more Montana beef.
"When one of the world's biggest markets for meat puts up unscientific blocks on American beef and pork, our Montana producers pay the price. This new decision makes it impossible for the E.U. to hide from the science any longer, and I plan to make very clear it's time to open the market for all Montana pork and beef. Montana ranchers produce the highest-quality products in the world and they deserve the right to compete," Baucus said.
"Max has a history of delivering results for Montana ranchers. I'm glad to see him taking on one of the world's top markets for beef," said Montana Stockgrowers Vice President Errol Rice.
"Europe represents a huge market for Montana pork, and lifting the ban on ractopamine would be a big win for our pork producers," said Executive Director of the Montana Pork Producers Council Anne Miller.
As head of the Senate Committee that oversees international trade, Baucus will also examine a potential job-creating free trade agreement between the U.S. and E.U. The United States and the E.U. share the largest trade and investment relationship in the world. Despite the global economic downturn, the combined U.S. and EU economies account for more than 40 percent of global gross domestic product, 40 percent of world trade in goods and services, 60 percent of world foreign direct investment flows, and 60-70 percent of global banking assets and financial services.
"America can't afford to just sit around and watch China make huge inroads in the European market. We have to be aggressive to expand Montana trade and pursue every boost to exports we can to create good-paying jobs," Baucus said.
Baucus will also meet with global energy and manufacturing leader Siemens, which is headquartered in Germany, to explore potential opportunities to partner with Montana. After Baucus built Montana ties with global wind company Goldwind during a trade mission to China, the company announced plans to build a new wind farm in Shawmut, Montana.
In his meetings with top-level European Finance Ministers, Baucus will also examine ways America can avoid the economic unrest countries like Spain and Greece are facing. Reaching a compromise to address America's debt without hurting job growth will be among the most important tasks for Congress to address when it returns in November.
The E.U. currently doesn't allow any meat products from beef or pork that contain the feed additive ractopamine --regardless of sound science that shows it is completely safe.
In July, the UN food standards-setting body, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, found ractopamine to be safe. Codex, is the internationally recognized standard setter and this decision leaves the EU without any scientific basis for its ban. Baucus will use the decision to press the EU to open its market to ractopamine pork and beef products in meetings with everyone from the EU Director General for Agriculture to the EU Trade Commissioner.
The E.U. is among the world's top meat eating countries. It is America's 10th largest trading partner and the 3rd largest consumer of pork per person in the world.
Montana and the EU:
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