Japan is the leading market for U.S. beef, even though restrictions have been in place since 2003 on U.S. beef exports to the country. On Friday, those restrictions were lifted as the two countries agreed on new terms for beef. North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Executive Vice President Julie Ellingson says the Japanese market is now open to beef products from cattle of all ages. “That’s substantial for a number of reasons,” says Ellingson. “One, it finally recognizes the safety and wholesomeness of U.S. beef. It also removes a non science-based trade barrier that provides economic incentives and opportunities for U.S. beef producers.” The Stockmen’s Association is also encouraged by recent discussions between the U.S. and Japan about the possibility of a bilateral trade agreement. Ellingson is hopeful the 38.5 percent tariff currently on U.S. beef can be reduced or even eliminated. Hear more of the conversation.