US senator wants Obama to push China on pork
US president Barack Obama should press Chinese officials to open China's markets to banned US pork and beef exports, Republican senator Charles Grassley said this week.
Press agency AFP reported that Grassley sent a letter to the US president: "I ask that when meeting with the visiting delegation from China next week, your administration raise the issue of China's continued barriers to exports of US pork and beef."
Obama is scheduled to speak July 27 at the opening of high-level strategic and economic talks between Chinese and US leaders next week. The discussions are an extension and expansion of economic talks begun under George W. Bush.
China's ban of US pork stems from worries about the novel influenza A virus (H1N1), also called 'swine flu', but the World Health Organization (WHO) and other agencies have said the virus is not transmitted through food.
"These scientifically unfounded barriers negatively impact producers in my home state of Iowa," a major US farm state, said Grassley.
World Health Organization (WHO)
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