Reuters: Exculsive: Argentina Says It Is Close to Inking a Beef Deal with U.S.

Argentina is on the verge of signing a deal with the United States that would allow two-way trade of fresh beef for the first time in nearly two decades, the South American country’s international trade secretary, Marisa Bircher, said.

The agreement, expected to be signed within days, would simultaneously open beef imports to both countries, Bircher told Reuters in an interview.

“We are negotiating the reopening to happen over the days ahead,” she said. “All the technical and administrative questions have been settled.”

At a time when the South American nation is seeking to boost beef sales abroad, the agreement would allow Argentina to show other prospective buyers that its meat is healthy enough to enter a country with some of the world’s toughest sanitary protocols.

The deal would also open a new market for the U.S. cattle sector, although demand for U.S. beef is low in Argentina. The country is famous for its quality steaks, some tender enough to be cut with a spoon, as demonstrated with a flourish by waiters in the iconic steak houses of Buenos Aires.