Meat & Livestock News

Senators File Resolution Over Paraguay Imports


  • Senators Mike Rounds and Jon Tester propose a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to suspend beef imports from Paraguay, citing health and safety concerns.
  • The resolution aims to overturn the Biden administration’s decision to lift the ban, highlighting the risk of foot and mouth disease and the need for imports to meet U.S. standards.

Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) have taken a stand to protect American agriculture by proposing a resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to halt beef imports from Paraguay.

This action seeks to reverse the recent decision by the Biden administration to allow these imports, emphasising the paramount importance of maintaining the high safety and quality standards of beef consumed in the United States.

The senators’ concerns stem from Paraguay’s historical struggle with foot and mouth disease, a serious ailment that could threaten the U.S. cattle industry. They argue that American consumers deserve to trust the safety and quality of the beef they consume, which should adhere to the stringent standards enforced within the country.

Supporting their initiative, the resolution has garnered backing from several key agricultural and livestock organisations, including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), R-CALF USA, Livestock Marketing Association, and the National Farmers Union. 

These groups echo the senators’ apprehensions, highlighting the unnecessary risks posed by allowing Paraguayan beef imports without thorough verification of their safety claims.

The push for the CRA resolution followed the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)’s confirmation of Paraguay’s eligibility to export raw beef products to the United States in December 2023. This decision marked a significant shift, as Paraguayan beef would enter the U.S. market for the first time since 1997, contingent on the country demonstrating adequate emergency preparedness and response capabilities to manage potential outbreaks.

Kent Bacus, executive director of government affairs for NCBA, emphasised the critical nature of ensuring that all trade partners meet the high food safety and animal health standards upheld by U.S. cattle producers. The resolution reflects a broader concern for the health and safety of the U.S. cattle herd and underscores the need for rigorous assessment and confirmation of international standards compliance.

By proposing this resolution, Senators Rounds and Tester aim to safeguard the integrity of the U.S. beef industry and protect consumers and producers alike from the potential risks associated with importing beef from regions with a history of animal health issues. Their actions highlight the ongoing debate over trade policies and the importance of maintaining strict health and safety standards in the agricultural sector.