Obama attacks South Korea and Japan

Obama’s ‘Beef’ With U.S. Trade Policies

Speaking to a crowd of farmers in a barn, Barack Obama cited the Japanese not selling American beef as an example of how current trade policies have hurt rural communities.

You can’t get American beef into Japan (and South Korea)…even though we have the highest safety standards. They don’t want the competition,” he said in response to a question about trade and manufacturing jobs moving to China.


Obama also cited the small number of American cars sold in Korea versus the booming sales of Korean models in America.

Here is another report.

Obama Demands Japan, South Korea Open Beef Markets, Kyodo Says

By Finbarr Flynn

May 17 (Bloomberg) — Barack Obama, Democratic U.S. presidential candidate, told voters in South Dakota yesterday that Japan and South Korea must fully open their markets to U.S. beef, Kyodo News said.

Obama told a town hall meeting in the state the two countries are blocking beef imports from the U.S. because they don’t want tougher competition from U.S. producers, Kyodo News reported from Washington, citing the candidate. The U.S. needs to take a tougher stance in trade negotiations to ensure that other countries open their markets, Obama was quoted as saying.

Japan and South Korea limit imports of U.S. beef since the discovery of mad cow disease in the U.S. South Korea decided to relax rules on the import of U.S. beef last month.

In July 2006, Japan resumed importing U.S. beef, limiting shipments to meat from cattle aged 20 months or younger. The U.S. is urging Japan to remove all barriers to U.S. beef imports. Japan is considering increasing the age limit to 30 months, Kyodo reported.


First of all, currently Japan is not banning the US beef. You can buy and eat the US beef anywhere in Japan. Just visit a Yoshinoya around the corner. And the South Korea has just decided to fully open the beef market although it caused a panic in South Korea.

I don’t mind eating US beef. In fact, I’ve been eating a lot of US beef in the past and present. But I don’t think the US has the highest safety standards. If you google it, Japan has the highest safety standards and EU comes next.

The car imports of Korea is a different thing. South Korea needs to open up its car market for sure. But, the US needs to produce better, cheaper cars before demanding other country to buy US cars.

He keeps disappointing me. See Obama on Japanese history issue. I just don’t like ignorance and lies.




Obama’s ‘Beef’ With U.S. Trade Policies

Amy Chozick reports from Watertown, S.D., on the presidential race.

Speaking to a crowd of farmers in a barn, Barack Obama cited the Japanese not selling American beef as an example of how current trade policies have hurt rural communities.

“You can’t get American beef into Japan (and South Korea)…even though we have the highest safety standards. They don’t want the competition,” he said in response to a question about trade and manufacturing jobs moving to China.

But Japan lifted its ban on American beef almost a year ago in June. The country had banned imports in 2003 after an outbreak of mad-cow disease. According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation in Denver, the U.S. currently exports over 5,000 tons of beef per month to Japan, down from 20,000 tones before the 2003 ban when Japan was the No. 1 importer of American beef.

But the problem is not, as Obama said, that the Japanese refuse to import American beef. Rather, it is that American beef now faces stiffer competition with Australian beef, which is cheaper and has made major inroads in the market in recent years.

“The market itself has changed,” Shirou Inukai, deputy director of the Meat Market and Trade Policy Division of Japan’s agriculture bureau said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal in August. “When American beef was gone, Australian beef filled the void.”

Adding to the problem, the overall demand for beef in Japan has been slowing. During the economic heyday of the late 1980s and early 1990s, consumers lusted for fat rib-eye and juicy filet mignon, which were about half the price of costly Japanese beef. But lately, the Japanese have been opting for fish, chicken and pork. Per capita consumption of beef in Japan is down 13% from 2002, according to Japan’s agriculture bureau. Even domestic beef has taken a hit.

Trade has become a hot button issue in the long presidential primary as both Obama and Hillary Clinton take a tough and, according to some critics, overly simplistic, stance on trade agreements that are perceived to have taken jobs away from hard-hit Midwestern communities.

Obama also cited the small number of American cars sold in Korea versus the booming sales of Korean models in America.


Barack Hussein Obama’s inexperience and lack of knowledge of current events and the economy shines through again! The White House is no place for an internship. We need tested and experienced leaders.
Comment by BKS May 16, 2008 at 2:12 pm

He thinks there are 57 states too. Why does the main stream media give this buffoon a pass?

Comment by Chris01USA May 16, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Don’t forget he called the University of Cincinnati’s students the Bobcats. He’d never misspeak about the mascot of an Ivy League school.

Comment by Cincinnati BEARcat May 16, 2008 at 2:31 pm

And this is from the same group that is holding up the Columbia Trade deal, for political reasons.

Comment by Bob May 16, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Barack is an idiot. Why don’t we sell cars in Korea? Because our cars are complete crap and made by useless union labor. You want something made expensively and very poorly, hire a union monkey.

Comment by Anonymous May 16, 2008 at 4:54 pm

The far left is so desperate to win the white house that they risk sending someone to the white house with the potential to cripple their party much the way Carter did. This is not the next Kennedy. And Kennedy looks like a raging conservative next to any of the Democratic candidates that ran this year except for Clinton, who is really more of a pragmatist than the representative of any particular ideology. In fact within the democratic party at the time, Kennedy often voted opposite the general party line (along more moderate or conservative line) and was not well thought of within his party by many including his own VP and Adlai Stevenson (another exemplar Chicago pol). Kennedy is more like McCain than Obama. Also, Kennedy spent 6 years in the house and 8 in the senate. But, hey, at least Obama was right about Iraq when he opposed it from the beginning… from the state legislature.

Comment by Move on MoveOn May 16, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Kennedy had 12 years experience as a government legislator (3 terms in the House and one full term in the Senate) before he ran for the Presidency in 1960. He also promised and delivered a tax cut. Barack Hussein Obama has 1/2 of a term in the Senate and has not led anything. There is no leadership experience to associate with Barack Obama. No record. All we can do is look at the string of times he voted “Present,” his church experience, his associations with Bill Ayers and Bernie Dohrn who were on the board and gave him his first job as a community agitator, and his association with Tony Rezko. No sterling credentials and certainly no reason to believe he is suited to be the next President.

Comment by BKS May 16, 2008 at 6:01 pm

If people weren’t suspicious of Obama before, they sure should be getting there.
This guy is scarier than H***

Comment by Ana Mus May 16, 2008 at 8:37 pm

Currently, having dialog with Iran is more urgent than getting rid of tainted beef to Japan.

Comment by Non-beef eater May 16, 2008 at 9:36 pm

So the farmers asked a question about trade and manufacturing jobs with China, and senator Hussein Obama responded by attacking Japan and Korea.

As far as Obama is concerned, all Asians look alike. But is America ready for a president who cannot even differentiate the various East Asian nations?

Comment by aml May 18, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Amy Chozick — I know it is not your area of expertise, but I suggest you look into the issue of how the Bush Administration will not allow US beef exporters to inspect their beef exports to Japan for mad cow disease.

If you know about that it puts the entire issue in a very different light.

Comment by spencer May 18, 2008 at 10:38 am

The issue isn’t that Japan doesn’t want the competition, it’s that there *is* a competition that the US is failing, seemingly preferring to compete using political pressure and trade sanctions, rather than by selling a product that Japanese consumers would prefer.

I live in Japan and frankly, the Australian beef is of higher quality than the stuff shoveled over here from the US. (Good Japanese beef is of course in a different league altogether, so much that a comparison to foreign beef isn’t appropriate. It’s so different that it might as well be a different animal. Visitors in Japan, upon seeing their first Kobe steak in a market or in a menu photo, will often ask what animal it comes from. It’s that different.

Places that do sell US beef typically display a logo on their signs and menus, a thing with a US flag and a handshake and “We Care” (Written in English, to show how little they actually do, I guess.) Unofficially, this is treated by some consumers as a warning mark, a bit like a skull and crossbones.

The other night I was out with a Japanese friend, looking for a Korean barbecue restaurant. There were two such places, a few meters apart, one with the “We Care” logo and another with a 20 minute wait for a table. My friend, a Japanese woman, pointed at the logo and said “Ugh. No way. Not here.” We went to the other place.

America needs to realize that Japan has a lot of choices. We don’t particularly need US beef over here and won’t seek out to buy it until a few things happen:

First, all of it needs to be tested for BSE. There’s a lot of awareness about mad cow here and all (100%) of the domestic beef is tested for it, because people do actually care. The US tests a tiny fraction of their cattle and insists it’s safe. Yet still, Obama (among others) insist that “…we have the highest safety standards…” without any reality to back that up.
It’s a doable proposition. Already, US pork enjoys some success here, with their “SPF Pork” that you see marketed here. American SPF pork (which stands for “Specific Pathogen Free”) is certified not to be infected with things like trichina worms and doesn’t need to be cooked all to hell to be safely eaten. People feel pretty good about buying US, when it comes to pork.

Second, the quality needs to improve. When you see the US beef sitting next to Japanese beef and Australian beef in the supermarket, it looks bad.

Given the choices here, you probably wouldn’t buy it either. (Real Argentine beef, though hard to find outside of restaurants, is simply spectacular and more the style that US beef tries to be.

Third, dump the “buy American” tack for marketing here. Japan isn’t America and American nationalism doesn’t really work here. Replace the arrogance with a bit of humility and you might get a warmer reception.

Comment by Jim O’Connell May 19, 2008 at 11:54 pm


2 thoughts on “Obama attacks South Korea and Japan

  1. The amount of ignorance in these comments is astounding. Yeah, US cars suck sooo much that…Americans buy them *gasp*

    Oh no, the market doesn’t need to be open according to these comments, because…well I’ve yet to find that out.

    Kennedy more like McCain? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!

    I wish to heaven people would stop hiding behind stupendous silly excuses and just say, ‘I don’t like the man. Don’t want him for pres.’ Makes you sound smarter than all of the crap people try to twine together to make an argument out of a turd.

    Ya’ll sound just as informed as you claim Obama is, which according to these comments, isn’t much.

    People are sooo threatned by this man….it’s funny.


    Got it out of your system now, xenophobe?

    Yes, say the full name of the next Pres. of the US, cause it won’t be John ‘100 years in Iraq’ and John ‘I don’t know anything about the economy’ McCain.

    Oh and those are HIS words, by the way.

  2. Lana,

    Yes, some of the comments seem to be bit extreme and childish, but some of them may have points.

    By the way, I kinda wanted him to be the president of the U.S. Not that I do something about it though. I’m not even a US citizen. It’s just I don’t see better candidate than Obama… But he ain’t perfect like I said in the post.

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