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U.S. set to accept British beef and lamb exports

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British beef
Meat trade   A 1,000-page dossier was submitted to the USDA

Trade with America is set to resume for the UK’s beef and lamb producers, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture published proposals to relax import restrictions.

If the draft agreement holds, British producers could be exporting red meat to North America by January.

The breakthrough was announced by Farming Minister George Eustice at the National Sheep Event in Malvern, Worcestershire. Eustice said the resumption of exports stands to generate an extra £35 million for the sector.

A 1,000-page dossier was submitted to the USDA detailing the safety and quality of British beef and lamb ahead of trade talks with US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in Washington in April.

Eustice said Defra officials are now coordinating UK trade bodies to comment not the USDA consultation, and working with industry groups in the United States to gain support.

Red meat imports from Britain were banned by US authorities almost 20 years ago, a result of the BSE scandal.

Speaking from Malvern, the farming minister said, “The US decision to press ahead with proposals to lift export restrictions on British lamb is great news for our farmers who are one step closer to gaining access to the lucrative American market, worth an estimated £35 million a year.”

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