U.S. Senators pushing back on imports of beef from Paraguay

Two U.S. Senators are taking steps to overturn the Biden administration’s decision to allow beef imports from Paraguay. Republican Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Democrat Jon Tester of Montana say allowing beef imports from a country that has a recent history of foot and mouth disease puts U.S. producers at risk.

Rounds says the administration isn’t looking at recent data.  “Some reviews, that they’ve done were in 2008 and 2014, and have not reviewed it since then,” he says. “We think there should be an independent review completed prior to the lifting of the ban, which is currently in place on beef coming from Paraguay.”

He tells Brownfield the pair is taking a two-pronged approach to halting beef imports from Paraguay, including the introduction of their bipartisan legislation in early December. “And the second is a Congressional Review Act,” he says.  “Which we can’t authorize until the Department of Ag actually submits the formal rule in writing. Once that occurs, we will then do a congressional resolution of disapproval. We think we can get it. Through the House and the Senate.”

Rounds says the President could still veto that measure. He says this isn’t about stopping all imports of beef into the U.S. “If beef from other countries can come in without having it being labeled, this is the next best thing,” he says.  “Since we don’t have M-COOL in place today, the next best thing is to make very sure that any beef imports coming in meet the standards that our farmers and ranchers meet.”

The bipartisan legislation is supported by all three major U.S. cattle organizations: the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, and R-CALF USA.

Paraguay hasn’t been eligible to export raw beef products to the U.S. since 1997 when the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service deemed the country ineligible because it did not implement requirements to be equivalent under the FSIS rule. 

In November, APHIS published a rule to allow the importation of fresh beef from Paraguay under certain conditions, effective December 14, 2023.  Paraguay is now eligible to export raw intact beef products to the U.S.

AUDIO: U.S. Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Stay Up to Date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!

Brownfield Ag News