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Why Argentine Steaks Are Hard To Find

The ambassador of Argentina to the United States laments trade barriers

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Having read your recent article “Why Argentine Steaks are Getting Harder to Find,” I would like to contribute some additional information that your readers might find insightful:

Argentina is one of the world’s largest and finest beef exporters, supplying beef to more than 50 countries including highly demanding markets like Germany, Israel and the Netherlands, among others. However, since 2001 Argentina has been unable to export beef to the United States because of market access restrictions. Indeed, even though Argentine beef enjoys the highest sanitary standards—certified annually by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)—the US bans Argentine imports based on outdated, scientifically unjustified and discriminatory sanitary allegations. This unfair sanitary barrier is maintained in spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the safe reopening of the US market.

Protectionist measures like this harm Argentine producers, exporters and workers, while denying US consumers access to high-quality products. Argentina has raised this claim bilaterally with the US for many years and finally, in 2012, was forced to bring a dispute against the US before the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body to obtain the removal of this trade restriction. This will help strengthen a rules-based agricultural trading system and will allow all consumers in the US to savor the world-renowned “juicy, medium-rare Argentine steak.”

Cecilia Nahón, Ambassador of Argentina to the United States