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CATTLEMEN EAGER FOR PRESIDENT'S SIGNATURE ON PERU TRADE DEAL

Washington, D.C. (December 4, 2007) – In a positive move for global trade and U.S. agriculture, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) today by a vote of 77 to 18.

With beef production comprising less than 8 percent of Peru's total agriculture gross domestic product, Peru could be an outstanding export market for U.S. beef. For U.S. cattle producers, the improved access provided in this agreement could amount to roughly $15 million per year.

“Under this agreement, Peru will immediately eliminate duties on high-quality beef and provide duty-free tariff rate quotas (TRQs) on standard beef cuts,” says Stacey Satterlee, director of legislative affairs for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA).

Other key components of this agreement are Peru's implementation of OIE-consistent import measures for beef, and Peru's agreement to recognize the equivalence of the U.S. beef inspection systems. Peru has also committed in writing to specific Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) terms.

President Bush, a staunch supporter of the Peru agreement, will likely waste no time in signing the agreement. Focus now turns to trade agreements with Colombia and Panama, currently awaiting Congressional consideration.

Like the Peru free trade agreement, deals with Colombia and Panama allow for duty-free treatment of high-quality U.S. beef on day one of implementation. Both Colombia and Panama have put in place import measures consistent with OIE guidelines and have agreed to recognize the U.S. beef inspection system as equivalent. These agreements have also broken down pre-existing SPS and technical barriers.

“NCBA's cattle-producing members need Congress to step up and pass the Colombia and Panama deals so the U.S. agricultural sector can begin reaping the benefits of these well-negotiated agreements,” says Satterlee. “The best way for America's farmers and ranchers to achieve prosperity is for Congress to support expanding trade within the global marketplace.”

~ visit our web site at www.beefusa.org ~

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) is the largest organization representing America's cattle industry. Initiated in 1898, NCBA is the industry leader in education, influencing public policy to improve producer profitability and in preserving the industry's heritage and future. Efforts are made possible through membership contributions. To join, contact NCBA at 1-866-BEEF-USA or membership@beef.org.

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