The U.S. International Trade Commission released a report estimating that
trade restrictions resulting from bovine spongiform encephalopathy cost the U.S. cattle
industry $11 billion from 2004 to 2007.
Farm-gate sales of cattle and calves during that period were $195.5 billion,
so the $11 billion in losses estimated by the ITC translates to 5.6 percent
of cattle producers' income, according to a news release from the National
Cattlemen's Beef Association. The report also estimated that tariffs and
tariff-rate quota restrictions cost the industry another $6.3 billion from
2004 to 2007.
The report noted that BSE-related trade restrictions
on U.S. beef are not based
in science, saying, "As of May 2007, the United States has been recognized
by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) as a controlled risk
country with regard to BSE. However, certain countries … impose restrictions
beef that are more stringent than the OIE guidelines for a controlled risk