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Enhancing the Competitiveness and Value of U.S. Beef


Develop science-rooted strategies and technologies to reduce foodborne illness and improve the effectiveness of policies related to food safety and trade.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Dr. Justin Kastner's long-term research goals include conducting historically-rooted, policy-relevant research regarding food safety and international trade policy. Working closely with committee member Dr. Mariah Tanner Ehmke (University of Wyoming) and other colleagues (including Dr. Jason Ackleson at New Mexico State University), Dr. Kastner will bring historical and policy perspectives regarding border security, food security, and trade policy. These include: 1. Historical analysis of how niche-market export certification programs have resolved or exacerbated trade disputes over food safety and animal disease; 2. Identify food safety challenges and opportunities small- to medium-sized beef processors face in international niche markets; 3. Develop a domestic and international political economy framework(s) to explain domestic food safety policy at it pertains to beef; and 4. With a view to identifying possible niche-market export-certification opportunities, review existing import-restriction data for foreign markets (available through the Economic Research Service) as well as food safety, animal disease, and plant disease regulatory notification data (available through the World Trade Organization); 5. Identify market-access opportunities presented by the international trade law concepts of regionalization and compartmentalization.

<P>APPROACH: Working with Dr. Mariah Tanner Ehmke and others, Dr. Justin Kastner will conduct historical research and employ political economic and applied economic tools to examine government and industry strategies for international market expansion, incorporating a historical perspective on food safety and international trade policy across a variety of livestock and meat products. Research improving the effectiveness of policies related to food safety and trade will involve case study and survey analysis, domestic and international political economy analysis, and a review of SPS-related trade restrictions and possible niche-market export-certification programs. Using an International Political Economy (IPE) framework and other research tools (e.g., industry surveys and focus groups), we will identify strategies for the U.S. meat industry to access foreign markets. Researchers will consider how niche-market export certification programs have addressed past trade disputes (e.g., the Non-Hormone Treated Cattle Program that was begun during the hormone-treated beef dispute with Europe; microscopic inspection of pork for export to Europe during the 19th-century, transatlantic disputes over trichinosis; etc.). We will consider the effectiveness of U.S. food safety regulations and niche-market export certification programs in the domestic beef market, as well as the international market.

Kastner, Justin
Kansas State University
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