NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — After more than two decades, Paraguay is now allowed to export beef to the United States again, after improving its food safety inspection system.

The United States is a top beef-producing country, and North Dakota is a top beef-producing state. So, why do we need to import beef into this country?

According to the federal government, exporting and importing beef is a necessary two-way street for our country.

According to the USDA, in recent years, ground beef made up 45% of total American beef consumption. But, despite the size of our country’s cow herd, we can’t fill the need.

That’s because in this country, we focus on producing high-quality beef. As a result, the trimmings are fattier.

We import leaner beef from other countries, and in return, export our beef to other countries as well.

Now, with Paraguay back in the beef game, the U.S. will add another exporting destination for our ranchers.

“This is an important time in the world for strong democracies like our two countries to be working together, comparing notes, thinking together and standing together as the United States and Paraguay are,” said Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

However, not everyone is in support of Paraguay’s reinstatement.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association both oppose it.
They released statements saying Paraguay is using data only from a short 9-year period and that the country has a history of outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, and because of this, importing their beef may jeopardize the safety of U.S. consumers and the health of our U.S. cattle herd.

There is a public comment period that’s open now. To send a comment yourself — click the Federal Register link here.