“Reports”:http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1071251758649&p=1045050946495 of a presumed case of BSE (“Mad Cow Disease”)in Washington state. bq. Ann Veneman, agriculture secretary, said a single Holstein cow from a farm in Washington state tested “presumptive positive” after it went to slaughter as a “downer”, an animal too sick to walk. Results are awaited from a sample sent by a US military aircraft for further testing in the UK. The impact on market and consumers would be very hard on the US industry: a single case earlier this year has so-far cost the Canadian industry an estimated 2 billion dollars. The US last year exported more beef than any other country (almost 4 billion dollars worth). The impact in Korea and Japan—the US major beef markets—would probably favor Australia, the world’s second biggest beef exporter. But Australian supply is not easily adjusted upward to meet demand: our beef industry is still recovering from the worst drought in a century. Also, Australian export beef types and cuts are very different from those of the the US. If the case is confirmed, plan on paying more for a steak—maybe a lot more—wherever you live.
Peter Gallagher is student of piano and photography. He was formerly a senior trade official of the Australian government. For some years after leaving government, he consulted to international organizations, governments and business groups on trade and public policy.
He teaches graduate classes at the University of Adelaide on trade research methods and the role of firms in trade and growth and tweets trade (and other) stuff from @pwgallagher