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U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., issued the following statement after Japan announced that it was ending its trade restriction on American beef exports.

“This is wonderful news for ranchers and farmers in Wyoming and across the country,” Enzi said. “I am glad that sound science finally won out and that Japan has fully opened its doors to the best beef in the world. Japan is one of Wyoming's biggest export markets and this decision will help continue our important trade relations.”

Japan used to be the number one export market for U.S. beef. Japan imported about $1.4 billion worth of U.S. beef in 2003 before it stopped, citing concerns over BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), commonly referred to as mad cow disease. In December 2005, Japan restored partial access for U.S. beef muscle cuts and organs from cattle 20 months of age and younger. In February 2013, Japan extended access to include beef and beef products from cattle less than 30 months of age. Japan’s decision would end these restrictions.