December 9, 2019
Tension in US-Brazil relations could delay lifting of US ban on Brazilian beef
The United States' move to reinstate tariffs on Brazilian steel and aluminium could hamper efforts to end a US ban on the import of Brazil's fresh beef, people familiar with the matter said.
Brazil does not expect the US to ease imports of agriculture products in an electoral year in the US, despite the good relationship between US President Donald Trump and Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, the sources commented.
Trump had slammed the country and Argentina for cheapening their currencies to the detriment of US farmers - a charge the Brazil denied.
In addition to the deteriorating political mood, US food safety concerns about Brazilian beef remained following a visit to local meat plants by US inspectors in June, one of the sources said. After the audit, the US decided to maintain the ban and requested corrective actions to Brazil.
The US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a response to questions that it will review documents on corrective actions once they are submitted.After which, it will conduct "another on-site verification audit of the Brazilian meat inspection system."
The US suspended fresh-beef imports in 2017 after finding meat containing blood clots and lymph nodes. Brazil said the findings were abscesses stemming from a reaction to components of a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine. After the episode, the South American nation reduced the vaccine dose and changed the product's compound.
Last month, an official from the Agriculture Ministry said Brazil was "100% confident" that the US would remove the ban on the nation's fresh beef.
At the time, Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina had said no date has been set, adding that Brazil had provided additional responses to the US and was awaiting its analysis of the answers.