WASHINGTON — Washington Senators, including Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) praised the May 27 Senate passage of their resolution urging China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico and Vietnam to follow international guidelines and provide full market access to all U.S. beef products.

"I am pleased the Senate unanimously passed this resolution urging Japan and six other countries — China, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, and Vietnam — to completely remove their baseless bans on U.S. beef and beef products,” Mr. Johanns said. “This sends a clear, bipartisan message to these countries that six years is too long for beef producers to wait for fair treatment. We expect our trading partners to live by internationally-accepted standards and that means opening their markets to U.S. beef.”

"We applaud the Senate for standing with us and with American ranchers and farmers in the fight to open markets for U.S. beef," Mr. Baucus said. "The science clearly proves U.S. beef is entirely safe and we will simply not stand for unscientific and unfounded barriers that hurt hardworking ranchers in Montana and across the nation."

"The unanimous support this resolution received in the Senate sends a strong signal to the rest of the world that we will continue to fight to ensure our producers can compete on a level playing field,” Ms. Lincoln said. “Beef producers in Arkansas and across the country are losing billions of dollars due in large part to unfair trade barriers in our export markets. This resolution calls on other countries to play by the same rules as we do and is an important step in the fight to open these markets to U.S. beef.”

Senate Resolution 544 was introduced by the Senators on May 27 as part of their longstanding effort to open foreign markets for American ranchers and farmers. The Senate passed the resolution by unanimous consent last night.

Complete text of Senate Resolution 544 and more information are available at: http://finance.senate.gov/newsroom/chairman/release/?id=0035b5a6-ed08-4ce6-ba44-f793d557368a.