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NCBA Applauds Senate Vote to Block Paraguayan Beef Imports

WASHINGTON (March 21, 2024) – Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) thanked the U.S. Senate for passing a resolution to block Paraguayan beef imports. The resolution comes in response to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rule that lifted the longstanding ban on Paraguayan beef imports despite the country’s concerning animal health track record.

“Thank you to the strong bipartisan group of senators who voted to overturn the harmful decision to allow Paraguay beef imports into the United States,” said NCBA President and Wyoming rancher Mark Eisele. “Our animal health standards are second to none, and we must be vigilant in protecting the U.S. cattle herd from harmful foreign animal diseases that could have a devastating impact on U.S. agriculture. Paraguay’s history of foot-and-mouth disease is a great concern, and anyone who wishes to trade with the United States must demonstrate they can meet our high standards.”

NCBA has repeatedly raised concerns with Paraguayan beef imports since the proposed rule was issued last year. NCBA specifically called out the outdated animal health data used to reach this decision.

“We are greatly concerned that the U.S. government relied on 9-year-old data and site visits from 2008 and 2014 to justify access for Paraguayan beef imports” said NCBA Executive Director of Government Affairs Kent Bacus. “We should never rely on old information to make important decisions that could put the health and safety of the U.S. cattle herd at risk. NCBA has maintained from the beginning that USDA should not have proceeded with this rule without current information to accurately assess Paraguay’s ability to meet our strong animal health standards. We are extremely appreciative of the Senate demonstrating strong bipartisan support to block this rule, and we urge the House to advance this legislation as soon as possible.”

Background

The legislation passed by the Senate today is a joint resolution that would block USDA’s rule under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA is a tool Congress can use to overturn regulations from federal agencies. Legislation under the CRA must be voted on by both the House of Representatives and the Senate and be signed into law by the President. Having passed the Senate, this legislation now goes to the House for further consideration. NCBA urges the House to vote in favor of this legislation and send it to the President’s desk.

View NCBA’s comments on the USDA rule here.

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