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Senate Passes Rounds, Tester CRA to Override Biden Administration on Paraguay Beef Imports

Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overrule the Biden Administration’s decision allowing beef imports from Paraguay despite animal health concerns

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today passed a bipartisan Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution authored by U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) that would overturn the Biden Administration’s decision to lift a long-standing ban on beef imports from Paraguay.  

A?Congressional Review Act resolution, or CRA, is an oversight tool Congress may use to overturn final rules issued by federal agencies by a simple majority vote. Rounds and Tester’s CRA passed the Senate with an overwhelmingly bipartisan, 70-25 veto-proof majority vote. The Senators’ bipartisan resolution will now head to the House for passage.

“South Dakota is known for having high quality beef produced by hard-working farmers and ranchers across the state. We have very high standards regarding the quality of our beef. Unfortunately, Paraguay does not have the same history of enforcing health and safety standards that we do,” said Rounds. “Our inspectors haven’t been to Paraguay in 10 years. Consumers deserve to have a high degree of confidence in the quality and safety of beef they want to serve their families. There is more work that needs to done with Paraguay before introducing their beef in American markets. Filing this resolution has been a bipartisan effort to protect American consumers while standing up for our producers.”

“President Biden butchered this decision,” said Tester. “By cutting corners to resume beef imports from a country with a recent history of foot and mouth disease, the Biden Administration is jeopardizing our food supply and giving Montana consumers and producers a raw deal. We cannot allow beef imports from Paraguay until we have data that shows they are meeting same high animal health standards as American ranchers, and I’m proud to have secured overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate to force the Biden Administration to reverse course.”

Rounds and Tester’s bipartisan resolution is supported by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), R-CALF USA, Livestock Marketing Association and National Farmers Union.

“USDA’s decision to allow Paraguayan beef imports into the U.S. creates an unnecessary risk to the health and safety of the U.S. cattle herd. U.S. cattle producers are held to the highest food safety and animal health standards in the world and any trade partner must be able to demonstrate they can meet those same standards,” said Kent Bacus, Executive Director of Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). “Given Paraguay’s long history of foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks, it is simply too risky to allow Paraguayan imports without recent site visits to confirm Paraguay’s safety claims. U.S. cattle producers are thankful for the leadership of Senators Jon Tester and Mike Rounds for applying the Congressional Review Act to hold USDA accountable and protect our nation’s cattle herd.”

“The last time U.S. government officials stepped foot in a Paraguayan meat processing facility was in 2014. That nearly ten-year gap since the last site visit does not inspire confidence in Paraguay’s animal health and food safety protocols,” said Justin Tupper, President of U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA). “Further, in its regulatory impact analysis, USDA fully admits that there is a real possibility we could import beef from an animal infected by Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). An outbreak of FMD in the United States would be devastating for both producers and consumers, causing lasting financial losses between $33 and $93 billion. We thank Senators Tester and Rounds.”

“We applaud Senator Tester and Senator Rounds for protecting the integrity of America's beef supply,” said Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA. “The USDA's reliance on outdated inspections of Paraguayan food safety protocols is unacceptable. We urge swift passage of this critical measure.”

“LMA greatly appreciates Senator Tester and Rounds standing up for the health of the U.S. cattle industry,” said Mark Barnett, President of Livestock Marketing Association. “The irresponsible decision to allow fresh Paraguay beef imports based on outdated site visits and inadequate data is an unacceptable risk for hardworking beef producers in this country.”

“Importing beef from Paraguay risks undermining consumer trust in the safety and quality of domestic beef,” said Rob Larew, President of National Farmers Union. “Given the unresolved concerns about Paraguay's quality standards and regulatory system, Senators Tester and Rounds’ leadership in pushing to reinstate the ban is crucial.”


  • Since 1997, the U.S. has blocked beef imports from Paraguay due to animal health concerns. Paraguay has historically struggled to contain outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD).
    • Paraguay last reported cases of foot and mouth disease in 2012, while the United States has not had a case of FMD since 1929.
  • A single detection of FMD would likely halt trade completely for a period of time. Since the disease can spread rapidly, FMD could have significant economic consequences.
    • The US cattle herd is at the lowest point since 1961, making this the worst possible time to take any risks with FMD. A single outbreak would devastate the cattle herd, put ranchers out of business and drive the price of beef up for consumers.
  • In November 2023, the Biden administration announced that they are lifting a ban on beef imports from Paraguay.
    • The USDA’s decision to resume Paraguayan imports relies on an analysis completed in 2018, and American inspectors have not conducted a site visit to Paraguay since 2014.
  • In December 2023, Rounds and Tester introduced legislation to ban beef imports from Paraguay.
  • In December 2023, Rounds and Tester announced their intention to file a CRA to overturn the Biden administration’s decision to allow beef imports from Paraguay.
  • In February 2024, Rounds and Tester filed the CRA to overturn this decision.

Read the full text of the CRA HERE.