July 15, 2016


Saudi Arabia welcomes US beef again after 4 year-ban



Saudi Arabia has ended a four-year ban on beef imports from the US, signing an agreement to initially allow shipments of beef from cattle aged under 30 months.


Saudi Arabia imposed the ban in 2011 over issues of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease).


US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Joseph Westphal commended the Saudi Food and Drug Authority and the US team composed of the Embassy in Riyadh, the Office of the US Trade Representative and the US Department of Agriculture for "finding a solution that meets the market's needs and sets an example for continued trade cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the United States."


He added that the deal would "ensure food security and a healthy agricultural sector for both of our countries".


Under the agreement signed on June 27, access of US beef exports to Saudi would be expanded to include products from US cattle under 48 months after a phase-in period.


In a joint statement, US Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman and US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, "Reopening Saudi Arabia's market will create additional export opportunities for American ranchers".


They added the US exported over $31 million of US beef and beef products in 2011, prior to the ban.

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