Happy news for Montana ranchers Friday as the United States and Japan reached an agreement on beef exports.
The new agreement lifts age restrictions and opens the door to an estimated $200 million annual increase of U.S. beef and beef product exports, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Japan barred imports of most U.S. beef more than a decade ago over fear of mad cow disease.
Montana’s delegation in Washington, D.C. cheered today's announcement.
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester wrote in a statement the agreement is a critical step in the right direction opening foreign markets. He says putting American beef fully back on the menu in Japan will help Montana cattle ranchers grow their operations.
Republican Sen. Steve Daines wrote he’s glad to see the Trump Administration take this, "much-needed step" and he looks forward to the growth it will bring for Montana agriculture.
Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte wrote that lifting the restrictions is great news for Montana producers and opens more doors for Montana beef.