The Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and the Ranking Member of the Senate Ag Committee Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., have sent a letter to President Obama urging his administration to defend U.S. pork, poultry and beef producers during trade talks with Russia this week. They want the President to push for open-market access for U.S. agricultural producers.
The Senators hope this week's meetings will result in a mutually agreeable solution based on sound science and increased open and predictable access for U.S. exports.
"America's farmers and ranchers are required by USDA to meet very stringent food safety standards, which help them produce some of the most abundant, affordable, safest and highest quality food in the world," Lincoln said. "On that basis, I believe that Russia's citing of safety concerns as reason for their actions is baseless."
So far, the Russians have failed to supply a reasonable, scientific explanation for essentially closing their market to U.S. pork and poultry and for their intention to similarly close the beef market.