Concluding two years of negotiations, Japan last week lifted its ban on imports of American beef. By far the most profitable overseas market for the U.S. beef industry, Japan, along with other countries including Mexico and South Korea, had imposed the ban shortly after the United States' first confirmed case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, in December 2003. "Resuming beef trade with Japan is great news for American producers and Japanese consumers," said Mike ...

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