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U.S. allows Brazilian beef imports after 17 years of negotiations

Staff Writer |
After 17 years of negotiations, the U.S. and Brazil signed a deal that will allow Brazil to send up to 64,000 tons of beef a year to the largest market in the world.

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This deal comes after protracted negotiations to conclude the right sanitary and phytosanitary protocols. Recent trips by American veterinary inspectors to Brazilian slaughterhouses removed one of the final obstacles.

Washington blocked such exports for years, due to outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease among Brazilian cattle herds.

This means that Brazil, the largest beef exporter in the world, will now be able to send beef to the U.S. from every part of the country. Prior to this, only the southern state of Santa Catarina had this authorization, due to a superior sanitary track record.

In a statement by the Brazilian government, it is estimated that this could eventually bring in an additional $900 million into the country. However, in the shorter term, Brazil expects to export $300 million worth of meat to the U.S. in 2017.

This amount is limited since the U.S. government imposes strict controls on the amount of beef imported each year. Each country gets strict annual quotas to obey.

For example, in 2015, top exporters Australia was given a quota of 418,000 tons, while second-place New Zealand was allowed up to 213,402 tons.

Brazil will begin with a quota of 64,000 tons, which will kick in in September. However, in early July, the Brazilian Beef Export Industries Association, stated it expected this would quickly be raised to 100,000 tons.

This new deal also only concerns fresh and frozen beef as Brazil is already allowed to export processed meat to the U.S.

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