KEARNEY, Neb. - The government is sending an inconsistent message to its trade partners by keeping America's border closed to Canadian cattle while encouraging Japan to open its borders to U.S. beef, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns said this week.
Johanns' message came after a federal judge in Montana ruled to delay the proposed Monday reopening of the U.S. border for Canadian cattle.
"I will say we were disappointed by that. Very disappointed as a matter of fact. But it is part of the process," Johanns said Thursday at the annual Governor's Agriculture Conference held in Kearney.
He did not, however, condemn the Senate's vote on Thursday to further delay resumption of imports of Canadian cows under 30 months of age that had been set to begin next week. Johanns called the 52-46 vote "close," and said it showed his agency has been making its case to legislators that all trade partners must be treated equally.
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